Menu

BASEBALL

Indians beat Angels 6-1 with Hafner's disputed go-ahead homer and Marson's 1st career slam

Travis Hafner hit a go-ahead homer that was upheld by video replay and No. 9 batter Lou Marson broke the game open later in the sixth inning with his first career grand slam, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 6-1 victory over the fast-fading Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

The Angels lost for the 11th time in 15 games, keeping the three-time defending AL West champions 9½ games behind division-leading Texas with 23 remaining.

The Angels, who have spent one day alone in first place all season, have lost five straight home games for the first time since 2006 — the last time they failed to reach the playoffs.

Justin Masterson (6-12) allowed a run and six hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and two walks. The right-hander is 4-7 with a 4.98 ERA in 16 starts since beating Boston 11-0 on June 9 with a two-hitter for his first big league shutout.

Trevor Bell (2-5) allowed two runs and four hits over 5 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked three. Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly in the third was the only run against the right-hander until the sixth, when Hafner led off with a towering drive that hit just above the 18-foot wall in right field. Second base umpire Angel Hernandez gave the home run signal, bringing Angels manager Mike Scioscia out of the dugout to argue the call.

Scioscia requested that the umpires check the video, and plate ump Rob Drake remained on the field while Hernandez, Dan Bellino and crew chief Joe West went inside for another look.

Bell faced one more batter before rookie Francisco Rodriguez came on. He gave up a single to Jordan Brown, then walked the next two batters before Marson drove a 1-0 pitch to left field for his third homer of the season and a 6-1 lead. It was the eighth grand slam allowed by the Angels' staff.

Bell is 1-4 with a 4.66 ERA in seven starts this season and has allowed only two home runs in 61 innings, including a two-run shot by Jack Cust in a relief appearance at Oakland on June 8.

Marson threw out Bobby Abreu trying to steal second base in the fourth, temporarily preventing Abreu from reaching 20 steals for the 12th straight season. Marson then threw out Torii Hunter at third for the first out of the seventh inning with the Angels down by five runs. Marson's percentage of runners thrown out is an AL-best 36.5 (23 for 63).

For the second night in a row, Hunter tied the score with a solo homer. This one came on a 2-2 pitch and landed way back up on the batter's eye in center field, giving him 21 for the season.

Choo's sacrifice fly gave him a team-high 71 RBIs. It came after Michael Brantley singled, stole second and continued to third on catcher Mike Napoli's throwing error.

Notes: The Angels announced during the fourth inning that longtime utility INF Robb Quinlan was released by the club, ending his 12-year stint with the organization. ... Hafner has eight home runs against the Angels since July 2004, when he had five in a two-day span. ... Hunter has been thrown out five times in his eight attempts to steal third base this season. ... The Angels have as many road victories as Texas (32), but nine fewer wins at home (34). Seven of their final 13 games are against the Rangers. ... Angels No. 2 hitter Alberto Callaspo grounded into double plays his first two times up, raising his season total to 19. The Indians have turned 157 DPs, second-most in the majors behind Colorado's 159. The Angels have turned the fewest (98).