One day after learning Albert Pujols will be lost for the rest of the season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim try to get themselves back on track in the middle test of a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium.
Pujols had been out since July 26, but hoped to return later this season despite a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot. However, his season officially ended Monday when the team announced he won't play until 2014.
"Unless in two weeks something happens and we're only two or three games out ... is it worth it to come back and put yourself in a situation where you take that risk?" Pujols said. "That's the decision we all came to."
As if that wasn't enough, the Angels were forced to play the opener against the Tribe without Mike Trout, who is nursing a hamstring injury. Trout, who has reached base in 40 straight games, is questionable for Tuesday's contest.
The Angels could have used Trout in Monday's opener, as Zach McAllister pitched into the seventh inning and Lonnie Chisenhall belted a two-run homer to help Cleveland take a 5-2 win. Carlos Santana and Jason Giambi had an RBI during a four-run fourth inning for the Indians, who won for the fourth time in six games.
McAllister (6-7) gave up five hits and a run while logging five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings to win back-to-back starts following a six-game winless stretch.
"Getting those runs in the fourth was huge. I was happy with my stuff tonight. The defense made good plays behind me and I was able to make some key pitches to get out of some spots," McAllister said.
Jered Weaver (7-7), who was aiming to break a tie with Mike Witt (109) for the third-most wins in Angels history, surrendered eight hits and four runs in six frames.
"I felt good warming up. Things got away from me a little bit. One blow-up inning and that was the game," Weaver said.
Mark Trumbo knocked in the two runs for the Angels, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.
On Tuesday, Danny Salazar makes his fourth career big league start for Cleveland. He gave up a pair of home runs against Minnesota in his previous outing, which lasted only four innings.
"This kid's going to be pitching for a long time, and we just thought give him a little bit of a blow rather than let him grind through one more inning," manager Terry Francona said. "His stuff is very good. He's willing to compete. This kid, he's the real deal, he just needs experience. We just need to monitor right now."
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with left-hander C.J. Wilson, who has won his last five decisions. Wilson beat the New York Yankees on Thursday, holding them to a run and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings to run his record to 13-6 on the year to go along with a 3.40 ERA.
Wilson is 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 24 games (6 starts) versus the Indians.
The Angels won two of three when these teams met up in Cleveland from Aug. 9-11.