The Los Angeles Angels are sliding downward at an inopportune time and look to rebound against the visiting Cleveland Indians on Wednesday in the middle contest of their three-game series. The Angels dropped a 5-2 decision in the opener for their seventh setback in 11 games and missed out on the chance to gain ground on Minnesota in the race for the second American League wild-card spot.
Los Angeles, which has scored just seven runs over its last three contests, is 1 1/2 games behind the Twins with only 12 remaining. Superstar Mike Trout is just 2-for-17 over his last five contests but a ferocious 5-for-6 with one homer, one triple and two doubles against scheduled Wednesday starter Josh Tomlin. Cleveland has won 25 of its last 26 games, and Tuesday’s victory was its 12th straight on the road. Austin Jackson (four hits) and Jay Bruce combined for seven of the Indians’ 14 hits in the opener.
TV: 10:08 p.m. ET, ESPN, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), FSN West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: RH Josh Tomlin (9-9, 5.04 ERA) vs. Angels RH Ricky Nolasco (6-14, 5.11)
Tomlin is 5-0 over his last eight starts after opening the campaign by losing nine of 13 decisions. The 32-year-old has posted a 2.39 ERA over his last five turns, giving up fewer than three runs in each of the outings. Tomlin is 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA in five career starts versus the Angels, and his lone career outing at Angel Stadium occurred in 2010, when he gave up three runs and three hits in six innings during a no-decision.
Nolasco has dropped back-to-back starts and is winless in his last five turns. The 34-year-old is 3-6 with a 4.84 ERA in 15 home starts and has allowed 12 homers at Angel Stadium compared to 22 on the road. Nolasco is 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against the Indians, including a defeat on July 26 in which he gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.
1. Angels LF Justin Upton hit his 32nd homer on Tuesday to set a new career high.
2. Cleveland RHP Danny Salazar (elbow) is slated to start Thursday after pitching out of the bullpen in his last two appearances.
3. Los Angeles 2B Brandon Phillips (back) returned from a two-game absence and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
PREDICTION: Indians 8, Angels 3