Angels rally in 9th to beat Guardians 5-4, end 10-game skid at Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) — The five-year Cleveland curse is finally over for the Angels.
Mike Trout's leadoff double triggered a two-run rally in the ninth inning against All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase and Los Angeles held on for a 5-4 victory Friday night to end a 10-game losing streak at Progressive Field.
With their 12th comeback win this season, the Angels got their first victory in Cleveland since Aug. 3, 2018, and just their second in 23 games since 2015. Officially, the Guardians had won 11 consecutive home games in the series, including one at the 2021 Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
"It’s good to get a win here,” said Trout, who was unaware of the Angels' drought in Cleveland. "They play us tough and they have a good ballclub over there.”
Brandon Drury's sacrifice fly in the ninth off the hard-throwing Clase (1-3) brought home the go-ahead run for the Angels, who overcame a baserunning mistake in the eighth and then survived a scary ninth.
The Guardians, who were 13-0 when leading after eight innings, loaded the bases on a pair of two-out singles and an intentional walk by Carlos Estévez, who finally ended it by striking out Will Brennan for his ninth save.
Matt Moore (2-1) pitched two innings as the Angels opened a seven-game trip on a positive note.
“Yeah, it’s a big team win,” Trout said. “I’m going to look back at this one. ... We just keep fighting. I feel like we’re never out of it.”
Josh Naylor hit a 442-foot home run in the eighth to give the Guardians a 4-3 lead before Clase, the MLB saves leader, blew it.
Trout opened the inning with a laser shot to left-center off Clase, who broke 100 mph on 13 pitches in the inning. Trout moved to third on Anthony Rendon's single and scored when Hunter Renfroe hit a grounder to second baseman Andrés Giménez, who threw wide of home when he could have taken the easy out.
The ball skipped away from catcher Cam Gallagher and pinch-runner Brett Phillips, who had been running on the play, alertly took third before Drury delivered his sac fly.
Guardians manager Terry Francona felt Giménez made the right play.
“I think when it’s all said and done, it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, just take the out,'" Francona said. "Because they pinch-ran, we couldn’t defend the stolen base and I actually thought it was a pretty heads-up play. He just yanked the throw.
“If he throws that ball on line, everybody’s saying that’s the play of the night. So one, we want to be careful when it doesn’t work, kind of condemning the play, because I actually thought he was thinking, and he didn’t just react. I thought he did a pretty good job.”
Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 2, but reached base three times — two walks and on catcher's interference — for the Angels.
Trout had an early run-in with the center-field wall.
With one out in the first, Amed Rosario, who led the AL with nine triples last season, hit his fourth to the gap in left-center. José Ramírez followed with a drive that Trout snagged while smashing into the padded outfield wall as Rosario scored.
Trout fell to the warning track, did a backward somersault and popped to his feet.
“I had a bead on it and then I didn’t think I was going to hit it,” Trout said. "I was at a weird angle and it came up a little quicker than I thought. It’s kind of weird, I looked at the replay and my glove was on the wall and hit here and came down on my palm.
“That wall’s not Anaheim, I’ll tell you that. In Anaheim, it gives a little bit.”
STAR OF STARS
Earlier this week, Ohtani joined Babe Ruth as the only players with 100 career homers and 500 mound strikeouts. Last year, Ohtani became the first player to win at least 10 games as a pitcher while hitting 30 homers.
“It’s impressive,” Francona said. “Beyond impressive.”
Beyond Ohtani's bewildering statistics, Francona also received a strong scouting report on his character from Angels manager Phil Nevin.
“He’s just a big kid that loves playing baseball, which I love hearing,” Francona said. "That bodes well for our game. When you use the word generational, I don’t think that’s too big of an adjective. I was looking at his pitching numbers — they're stupid.
“And he’s hitting and running. There's nothing he can’t do.”
Angels: 1B Jared Walsh (headaches, insomnia) is expected to play for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. He's been seeing a specialist and recently said he's feeling better after being sidelined with debilitating symptoms.
Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (shoulder sprain) threw a 20-pitch bullpen session with no issues at the team's facility in Goodyear, Arizona, on Thursday. McKenzie has made progress and could be back with the team by the end of May. ... C Mike Zunino was a late scratch with neck stiffness.
The Angels start the second of three straight lefties in the series with Reid Detmers (0-3, 5.10 ERA) facing RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.89).
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