Angels-Indians Preview

The Associated Press

It's still early, but the Los Angeles Angels aren't happy.

They're hoping their top prospect can help get the offense going.

With Albert Pujols scuffling and Bobby Abreu no longer in the picture, the visiting Angels have called up Mike Trout as they try to end a five-game slide Saturday afternoon against the Cleveland Indians.

Los Angeles (6-14) continues to be one of baseball's biggest early disappointments after an expensive offseason that left many expecting it to be a contender for the AL pennant.

Instead, the only AL team worse than the Angels is 5-15 Minnesota.

"Obviously, we're not very happy with what's going on," right-hander Jered Weaver said. "We need to really start getting things going from all around. It's a bitter taste in our mouth right now."

Part of the blame falls on Pujols and the lineup, which is hitting .245 this season and .186 with nine runs during this five-game skid. The All-Star first baseman has a .225 average with four RBIs while he continues to search for his first homer in an Angels uniform.

In an effort to improve the offense, the Angels released the slumping Bobby Abreu in order to recall Trout, 20, from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Trout was batting .403 in 20 games at Salt Lake. The center fielder hit .220 in 40 games with Los Angeles last season, but in parts of four seasons in the minors is a .342 hitter with 108 stolen bases.

"This is a young, exciting player who's going to come up and hopefully start to come up," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's going to play."

Los Angeles had four hits Friday - one from Pujols - while squandering a two-run, seventh-inning lead and falling 3-2 at Cleveland in the opener of this three-game set. Reliever Dave Carpenter gave up a walkoff single to Asdrubal Cabrera as the Angels moved one game shy of their longest slide from a year ago, set June 4-10.

Dan Haren (0-1, 4.07 ERA) is very aware of the Angels' offensive shortcomings, getting backed by two or fewer runs in three of his four starts. That includes a 3-2, 10-inning loss to Baltimore on Sunday, as he yielded two runs with nine strikeouts in 7 1-3 while getting one run of support. Los Angeles has lost all four of Haren's starts.

Haren, however, is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts at Progressive Field.

The Indians (10-8) are looking to win back-to-back home games for the first time after matching their season high with 15 hits in the series opener - their fourth come-from-behind victory.

Cleveland had 36 comeback wins, including 12 in walkoff fashion, a year ago.

"Last year, we had a lot of fun with some walkoffs," manager Manny Acta said. "It's nice to be able to go out and do that again."

Cabrera has paced the Indians' offense lately, hitting .405 with seven runs during an eight-game hitting streak, but he's just 2 for 17 versus Haren.

Jeanmar Gomez (1-0, 1.93) takes the mound for the Indians after serving a five-game suspension for intentionally hitting Kansas City's Mike Moustakas with a pitch April 14.

The right-hander dropped his appeal after making his most recent start last Saturday, yielding one run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-1 win at Oakland.

He took a 7-0 loss in his only meeting with the Angels on Sept. 15, 2010, surrendering all the scoring in the first two innings before leaving after the third.

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