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Pitching coming up big for Indians

The SportsXchange

The Cleveland Indians won two of three in their weekend series with the Angels by out-pitching

the pitching-rich Angels. The Indians won by scores of 3-2 and 4-0, and got strong work

from both their starting rotation and bullpen.

The Indians' three starting pitchers in the series -- Justin Masterson, Jeanmar Gomez,

and Derek Lowe -- combined for a 1.64 ERA in the series. Those three pitchers held Angels

hitters to a .156 batting average.

"Our pitching matched up good with theirs the whole series," said manager Manny Acta.

The Indians bullpen was equally effective. In Sunday's 4-0 win, relievers Vinnie

Pestano and Chris Perez combined with Lowe on a three-hit shutout. Indians relievers,

over their last four games, have combined to pitch 9 1/3 scoreless innings and have held

opposing batters to a .067 batting average.

It's fortunate for the Indians that the pitching is rising to the occasion because the

hitters are still very inconsistent. Through Sunday, the Indians had not hit a home run

in their last 11 games, a streak that includes 101 consecutive innings and 365

consecutive at-bats.

But the Indians are hitting enough to win, coupled with their effective starting

pitching and bullpen work. They are also taking advantage of a relatively soft early part

of their schedule, in which 21 of their first 24 games have been against teams that did

not have winning records in 2011.
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