Angels-Indians Preview

While the Cleveland Indians are slugging their way back into wild-card contention, the Los Angeles Angels are within a game of falling back to .500 for the first time since late June.

The Indians will attempt to continue tracking down the Angels and others Sunday as they try for a three-game home sweep.

After Saturday's 8-3 win, Cleveland (62-66) has won four straight and 13 of 20 while scoring 5.2 runs per game and batting .295 to creep back within five games of Texas for the second wild card.

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Michael Brantley had three more hits and is batting an MLB-leading .432 in his last 20 games, pushing his .324 average to its highest since May 21. Teammate Francisco Lindor isn't far behind in second at .413 in 24 games over the same period, and Lonnie Chisenhall is on a career-best 10-game hitting streak.

The Angels (65-64) were last .500 at 37-37 entering play on June 27. They reached 14 games over on July 23 but have since gone an AL-worst 11-24. They've scored six runs in four games while batting .164.

Mike Trout is 1 for 11 in those games and hasn't homered in a career-long 21 contests, Kole Calhoun is batting .074 in seven, and Albert Pujols is hitting .185 over a 15-game span without a multihit effort.

"Right now, the process is to try to get some offensive continuity and re-establish our starting pitching," manager Mike Scioscia said. "There are some things that we need to hopefully reboot."

Jered Weaver was having an impressive August before giving up six runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of Tuesday's 8-7 win in Detroit, though most of the damage came in a four-run third inning that followed a Trout and Calhoun miscommunication on a ball that dropped in and ended up going for a double. Weaver (6-9, 4.59 ERA) still earned the win and is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts this month since coming off the disabled list.

The right-hander's frustration came out in the dugout after the inning.

"I hadn't really been vocal this year," Weaver told MLB's official website. "It's obviously not the way I've wanted my season to go. But we're in the midst of a playoff race, and we have to play good baseball to get to where we want to be."

Pitching on the road has been a big part of his problems, going 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in his last five starts. In Cleveland, however, Weaver is 7-1 with a 2.24 ERA in 11 career starts. Carlos Santana (12 for 23 with two home runs) and Chisenhall (7 for 17 with two home runs) have hit him well, but Jason Kipnis (3 for 20) and Yan Gomes (1 for 10) have struggled.

Home runs have disrupted an otherwise promising return for Josh Tomlin who earned a second straight victory in Tuesday's 11-6 home win over Milwaukee. Tomlin (2-1, 3.26) yielded four runs and five hits, three of which left the yard to bump his season total to six in three mostly impressive starts.

"I'm not trying to get too satisfied, I'm trying to stay here and do what I can to help this team win," said Tomlin, who missed most of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery after being shut down during spring training. "It's definitely good to be back here and help this team win, but I try not to get too satisfied or comfortable and keep working every day and do my job again in four days."

Tomlin is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts against the Angels. Calhoun (3 for 3) and Trout (2 for 3 with a home run and a double) have had success against him, but Erick Aybar is 1 for 12.