Game 21: Angels 4, Indians 3

Two pitches turned an Indians 3-0 win to an Angels 4-3 loss. The first was a flat Jake Westbrook sinker to Torii Hunter in the sixth inning, and the second was Chris Perez's only pitch of the game in the bottom of the ninth. The first pitch left the yard, a three-run homer, while the second didn't even reach the infield dirt.

Until that sixth inning pitch, it seemed like Jake Westbrook would get his first win in two season. Jake hadn't given up a run through five innings, but in the sixth, he gave up a base hit to Erick Aybar with one out, then walked Bobby Abreu to bring up Hunter. One mistake later, tie game.

In the top of the inning, the Indians had just pushed their lead to 3-0 by scoring two runs, though it could have been much more. With a run in, the Indians loaded the bases with one out, and after Ervin Santana got ahead of Travis Hafner 0-2 (doesn't it seem like Hafner's always behind in the count lately?), he hit him on a bounced pitch. The bases were still loaded for Russ Branyan, but he struck out on three pitches, and Jhonny Peralta ended the inning by flying out.

The game remained tied until the ninth inning. Manny Acta used Jamey Wright for the seventh, and Tony Sipp for the eighth; both pitchers retired the sides in their innings. Joe Smith was brought into the game to pitch to Torii Hunter, but Hunter beat that strategy, doubling to right. Smith intentionally walked Hideki Matsui, and then Rafael Perez was brought in to turn Kendry Morales around to the right side. That strategy worked, for Morales grounded into a double play. Perez then walked Juan Rivera intentionally and Chris Perez was called upon to get Howie Kendrick and end the inning. But Kendrick put a wrench in all of Acta's strategic machinery by bunting with two outs, and with the Indians' infielders playing back, Kendrick reached first easily, and the Angels won the game.

The Indians were those two pitches away from finishing the road trip with a 4-5 record, which would have been a nice record considering who they played. Instead, the Indians head east having gone 3-6, and with an overall 9-12 record.

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