Pitching coming up big for Indians

The Sports Xchange
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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