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Angels-Indians Preview

AP - Sports

If the Cleveland Indians are to end their slide, they'll likely need ace Justin Masterson to continue his success against the Los Angeles Angels.

The All-Star right-hander looks to remain undefeated against the Angels and help the Indians avoid going winless on their seven-game homestand Sunday.

Cleveland (62-55) began the home stay winners in 10 of 11 and three games behind AL Central-leading Detroit. However, they were swept in a four-game set by the Tigers and dropped the first two with Los Angeles to fall eight back in the division race. Outscored 37-15 on the homestand, the Indians held an early 1-0 lead but were held to two runs and seven hits for a second straight night after Saturday's 7-2 defeat.

Prior to this homestand, Cleveland had won 11 straight at Progressive Field.

"This is a game where how you handle frustration goes so far in how your season is defined, and we're going to find out,'' said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose team committed a season-high four errors Saturday.

Cleveland has lost four in a row to the Angels (53-62), who lost four straight themselves prior to this series. Los Angeles' last series sweep at Cleveland came Sept. 3-5, 2004.

Including the postseason, Masterson (13-8, 3.46 ERA) is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 14 games against the Angels. He's 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in seven starts against them, but looks to bounce back from his roughest outing in a month.

Masterson had allowed four runs, 15 hits and struck out 29 over 28 innings while going 3-0 in four starts before he gave up five runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 5-1 loss to Detroit on Tuesday.

Josh Hamilton, 8 for 12 with two doubles and two homers versus Masterson, had two hits Saturday. Hamilton is 3 for 7 in this series after he went 2 for 26 with seven strikeouts in his previous seven contests.

Mike Trout went 0 for 4, but had an RBI and drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 40 games. Orlando Cabrera reached base a franchise-record 63 straight contests in 2006.

Scheduled Los Angeles starter Jerome Williams (5-8, 4.77) is 0-6 with a 7.48 ERA in nine starts since moving back into the rotation June 22. He gave up a run in 7 2-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 2-1 loss at Texas to conclude July, then pitched four scoreless innings before he yielded five runs in the fifth and sixth of a 5-2 defeat to the Rangers on Monday.

"I thought Jerome was a little bit more erratic tonight than maybe we saw in Texas last week," manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels' official website. "Ball-strike ratio was not good. Overall I don't think he commanded the counts like he can."

The right-hander has never faced Cleveland, but Nick Swisher is 0 for 3 with a walk against him.

Swisher is 5 for 27 in his last eight games after tripling Saturday.

However, teammate Yan Gomes is 18 for 35 (.514) in his last 11 contests.

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