CLEVELAND (AP) — Jered Weaver’s perfection at Progressive Field finally came to an end Monday night.
Weaver lost for the first time in 10 career starts at the Indians ballpark as the Angels dropped a 4-3 decision to Cleveland, their fourth loss in five games following a five-game winning streak.
Weaver’s downfall came on home runs by Carlos Santana, a leadoff shot in the fourth that broke a 3-all tie, and a two-run homer by Asdrubal Cabrera in the first. The right-hander was 6-0 and allowed 11 earned runs in 60 1-3 innings in nine starts in Cleveland going into the game.
Weaver (7-6) allowed four runs in six innings. The right-hander’s 1.64 ERA going into Monday was the lowest in ballpark history with a minimum of 50 innings pitched, according to STATS LLC. Weaver had allowed three earned runs in 43 innings over his last six starts in Cleveland before losing Monday.
“I know that I’ve thrown well in this park but I didn’t know that it was that good,” he said. “Nothing else to say, just can’t stay away from the homer.”
Weaver is 8-4 in 18 career starts against the Indians. He has allowed 14 home runs, second-most in the AL.
“It’s no secret I just can’t stay away from the home run ball,” Weaver said. “It’s been killing me lately and it was the difference in the game again tonight.”
With his struggles, the Angels were still only down by one in the eighth. Raul Ibanez led off with a walk and was caught stealing second as Chris Ianetta struck out. The play appeared close, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia briefly talked it over with umpire Rob Drake, but decided not to use his challenge.
“From our angle, it looked like his foot was in there, but on the replay we couldn’t verify it,” Scioscia said. “The opinion was that it was not going to be overturned. You still need those challenges, it’s not like you just wing it and let it go. You never know how the game is going to play out.”
Erick Aybar, pinch-hitting for John McDonald after leaving Sunday’s game with a sore left hip, singled in the next at-bat, but Kole Calhoun struck out to end the inning.
Cleveland pounced on Weaver early with Cabrera’s homer. Los Angeles bounced back in the second, with consecutive singles by David Freese and Howie Kendrick. Ianetta drove them both home on a double to tie it.
Michael Brantley’s RBI single in the third put Cleveland ahead, but McDonald tied it in the fourth with a sacrifice fly.
Santana is hitting .500 (10 for 20) against Weaver in his career, with two home runs and five RBIs. His homer helped move the Indians (36-35) over the .500 mark.
After Santana’s home run, Weaver finished his night by setting down the next nine Indians in order.
“I think as the game went on he got a little more comfortable, but he was battling,” Scioscia said. “He mixed and matched again and gave us a chance.”
The Angels weren’t without their opportunities against Trevor Bauer (2-3), who managed to give the Indians 6 2-3 innings despite giving up eight hits and four walks while working through a number of jams. The Angels left 10 men on base and were only 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
“We had a lot of opportunities,” Scioscia said. “A lot of opportunities and couldn’t cash in on enough of them to get the game where we wanted it.”
Carlos Carrasco pitched 2 1-3 innings for his first career save. Closer Cody Allen and setup man Bryan Shaw both pitched the last three days, leaving the Indians with a thin bullpen.
Carrasco, who was moved to the bullpen last month after pitching poorly as a starter, struck out Kendrick to end the seventh and worked around a walk and a single in the eighth. He retired Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to start the ninth and struck out Josh Hamilton to end the game.
“Carlos pitched really well, that was a huge lift for us,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “The way he was pitching I didn’t want to take him out, and there was no reason to take him out.”
Indians left fielder Michael Brantley left the game in the fifth for precautionary reasons after receiving a blow to the head and neck area while trying to break up a double play in the third. Francona said Brantley passed a concussion test and would be evaluated again Tuesday.
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