Indians 13, Angels 5
CLEVELAND (AP)—Finally, there were runs, plenty of them. At last, there were hits, by the bunches.
For one night, the Cleveland Indians busted out of their season-long slump.
“We didn’t know what to do,” joked Casey Blake. “That hadn’t happened in a while. The whole team needed a night like tonight.”
The Indians entered with the majors’ lowest batting average at .233 and at the low point of a season quickly slipping away. But they teed off early on Santana, who made his big league debut after being recalled from Double-A Arkansas.
Cleveland had three runs after just four batters and the Indians poured it on, posting season highs in runs and hits (19). The Indians chased Santana after four innings and improved to 9-0 when scoring six runs or more.
Even struggling Aaron Boone, who was batting just .147 before going 2-for-4, had two RBIs.
“That’s a start,” Boone said after raising his average to .158. “We had some big innings and then we just kept adding on. We certainly feel like this is what we’re capable of. We just have to make it happen.”
Boone has been doing everything possible to snap out of his prolonged slump. He has used several different bats, including one sent to him this week by former Cincinnati teammate Adam Dunn.
“I had to check and make sure there was no cork in it,” Boone said with a smile. “Just kidding. I’ve just tried to trust in myself as a player. That’s tough to do when sometimes you feel like the poster boy for what’s going wrong.”
Scott Elarton (1-2) allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings for his first win since Aug. 29—a span of 13 starts. The right-hander was skipped the last time through the rotation and hadn’t pitched in 10 days.
“It’s been a while coming, but I’ll take it,” Elarton said. “It wasn’t my best effort, but it’s something to build on.”
Santana’s big league debut couldn’t have started much worse. The first four Indians hitters combined to hit for the cycle against the rail-thin right-hander, who was 5-1 in the minors this season.
Grady Sizemore led with a triple and Coco Crisp followed with a shot to the right-field corner that would have been a triple, but he overslid the bag and got tagged out. Hafner singled before Broussard connected for his third homer, giving the Indians a 3-1 lead.
“He couldn’t get in the zone early and he paid the price,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Santana, who will get another start. “By the time he really started to pitch, too much damage was done.”
Boone gave the Indians a 4-2 lead in the third with a two-out, run-scoring single, just his second RBI in 14 games. Boone came in batting just .056 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
“It’s time to turn it around,” said Boone, now 8-for-24 in his last seven games.
Hafner’s two-run shot, his fifth, made it 6-2 in the fourth. The Indians added two more runs in the fifth on Boone’s second RBI single and Peralta’s sacrifice fly.
Santana was tagged for six runs and eight hits in four innings.
“I’ve been waiting for this day,” Santana said. “Everything was up. Next time I will do better.”
Crisp sprained his right thumb on his slide into third and left after the sixth. He’ll be re-examined on Wednesday. … Indians RHP David Riske allowed his first earned run in 17 innings this season. … Angels CF Chone Figgins snapped an 0-for-21 slump with a third-inning single. It was also just his second hit in 36 at-bats. He finished 3-for-5 and scored twice. … Peralta is batting .371 (13-for-35) with five homers in his last 10 games.