Indians sweep Angels to cap 6-3 road trip

Joe Haakenson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It's onward and upward for the Cleveland Indians.
Nick Swisher's two-run home run in the third inning gave the Indians all the offense they would need to complete a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-1 win Wednesday afternoon at Angel Stadium.
The Indians packed their bags after the game and returned home after completing a successful road trip to Minnesota, Oakland and Anaheim, winning six of nine games. They are now within 2 1/2 games of the A's for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
"We've got such a good thing going on over here right now," Swisher said. "We just want to continue to stay with what we're doing, continue to keep playing great baseball, fundamentally sound baseball, and see where this thing is going to take us, man. We're having a lot of fun, we have a great squad and we're doing this all together."
Swisher's 15th home run of the season came after Michael Bourn led off the third inning with a triple against Angels starter Jerome Williams. Cleveland managed only three more hits the rest of the game, but it didn't matter.
Indians starter Justin Masterson (14-9) took advantage of the depleted Angels lineup, giving up one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out seven. Masterson's 14 wins are a career high.
Masterson was winless in his previous three starts, but he continues to pitch effectively.
"He's already elite, he's already one of those guys, man," Swisher said. "He's been an All-Star for us, his numbers speak for themselves, top 10 in strikeouts, innings pitched, ERA, this dude's doing it. I'm so happy I don't have to face him anymore. I'm glad he's on our side now."
Indians reliever Rich Hill, Cody Allen and Chris Perez (20th save) finished it up for Masterson.
The Angels scored their only run in the sixth inning. Hank Conger's RBI double snapped Los Angeles' consecutive scoreless innings streak at 18, going back to the final 13 innings of Tuesday's game, a 4-1, 14-inning loss to Cleveland.
Williams (5-10) didn't pitch poorly, giving up two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, but his winless streak continued. He is 0-8 in his past 12 starts. Williams hasn't won a game since June 12 at Baltimore, and he hasn't won at home since May 21 against Seattle.
The Angels' lineup, missing Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick, couldn't get anything going. Los Angeles went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
"The whole thing just kind of feeds on itself as you try to get depth in your lineup," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Right now we're thin. The guys are playing hard. We just haven't gotten that one hit to tilt the game in our favor. We've got to keep plugging along."
The Indians have Thursday off before playing a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. They then will embark on another tough road trip with three in Atlanta and three in Detroit, so going 6-3 on the just-concluded trip is big, Masterson said.
"Ten days, coming out to the West Coast with all the travel, it's important," he said. "Our key has always been, hey, you need to win the games you're supposed to win. And this was a good road trip for that."
Trout missed his third game in a row because of a sore right hamstring. With the team getting a scheduled day off Thursday, Trout will get a fourth day off. He is listed as day-to-day for Friday's game in Seattle. He has reached base by hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 40 consecutive games.
NOTES: Angels RHP Billy Buckner was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake for his third stint with the big-league club this season. He is 1-0 with a 4.67 ERA in seven appearances (two starts) for the Angels, including a win in a start against Kansas City on May 25. OF Collin Cowgill was optioned to Salt Lake to make room on the roster for Buckner. Cowgill hit .298 (14-for-47) in 25 games. ... Indians 2B Jason Kipnis was named to the All-Star team this year after hitting .301 with 13 homers, 57 RBIs, 53 runs and 21 stolen bases in the first half. Since the All-Star break, he's hitting .244 (30 for 123) with two homers, 15 RBIs, 12 runs and two stolen bases. ... Bourn is the toughest hitter in the American League to double up. He has hit into one double play in 438 plate appearances this season.

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