Angels' bats silenced in 6-2 loss to Indians

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C.J. Wilson came out of the game after his pitching hand got in the way of a seventh-inning line drive by Cleveland's Lou Marson.

Indians right-hander Justin Masterson got in the way of the Angels' attempt to get back on track after a closed-door meeting the day before.

Masterson pitched six-plus scoreless innings, Brent Lillibridge homered and the Indians bounced back from their most lopsided loss of the season to beat the sputtering Angels 6-2 on Monday night in the opener of a 10-game road trip.

Los Angeles has dropped nine of 13, a slide that comes as the club begins a weeklong celebration marking the 10th anniversary of its 2002 championship team.

"It's been rough," Wilson said. "Our thought process is that it's going to turn around — this game, this inning, this at-bat — and we just haven't been coming through. It's real cut and dried.

"We have a real positive attitude. That's why I think we have good team chemistry," Wilson added. "It's just slipping through our fingers a little bit, and that's frustrating. We've had opportunities, you know what I mean? These games have been there to win but we haven't closed the deal on offense, defense or pitching on any given night."

Wilson (9-9) allowed three runs — two earned — and six hits in 6 2-3 innings while striking out five. The All-Star left-hander is 0-5 with a 5.36 ERA and seven home runs allowed over his last eight starts, after going 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA and only one homer allowed in his previous eight outings.

"Since the All-Star break, we've had to come from behind a lot — and that's tough against the best relievers," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Starting pitching is the heartbeat of our club, and we're struggling with a lot of things on the pitching side that need to be straightened out. But that was the best outing we've seen from C.J. in his last six or seven starts."

Masterson (9-10) scattered six hits, struck out four and walked three. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels, the lowest mark of any pitcher with at least five starts against them.

The Angels haven't scored a first-inning run in eight consecutive games — despite the fact that rookie Mike Trout, their leadoff hitter, has crossed the plate a major league-leading 88 times. Scioscia flip-flopped Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales in the batting order, dropping Trumbo to fifth after he batted .202 with three homers and eight RBIs over the previous 22 games in the cleanup spot — following a six-game stretch in which he homered in five of them.

"It's disappointing, but it's where we're at," Trumbo said. "That's the reality of it. So you can either pout and sulk over what's been going on, or you can chalk it up and say that it's going to happen sometimes. I think everybody probably wishes they might be doing a little better at this point. We're not terribly removed from the top teams, and I think everyone in this room really believes that's where we're going to be."

Joe Smith relieved Masterson in the seventh after Trumbo led off with an infield hit and Alberto Callaspo singled. The sidearming righty retired Howie Kendrick on a fly ball, struck out Erick Aybar and slipped a called third strike past Chris Iannetta with two runners in scoring position.

Vinnie Pestano, who was born in nearby Huntington Beach, attended Anaheim's Canyon High School and played his college ball at Cal State Fullerton, gave up a majestic two-run homer by Albert Pujols into the left-field bullpen with one out in the Angels' eighth after a leadoff walk to Trout.

Pujols' 25th homer snapped the right-hander's scoreless streak at 21 1-3 innings, the longest by an Indians reliever since Paul Assenmacher's run of 23 1-3 innings in 1997.

But the Indians responded with three runs in the ninth after Jason Isringhausen inherited a bases-loaded, none-out jam from Hisanori Takahashi. Marson drew a bases-loaded walk, pinch-hitter Jason Kipnis followed with a sacrifice fly and Casey Kotchman scored on a wild pitch.

Esmil Rogers gave up two singles to begin the Angels' ninth, but Chris Perez struck out all three batters he faced to get his 32nd save in 36 chances and the 100th of his career.

"Esmil Rogers was nice enough to give C.P. a save opportunity so he'd get that 100th save, so it was a real good team effort," Masterson joked. "I mean, if that isn't a team player, I don't know who is."

The Indians, coming off a 14-1 home loss against Boston, opened the scoring in the third with consecutive RBI singles by Jason Donald and Asdrubal Cabrera. One of the runs was unearned due to Kendrick's error on a leadoff grounder to second base by Lillibridge.

Cleveland made it 3-0 in the fourth when Lillibridge homered to left-center with two outs.

NOTES: Isringhausen, who broke into the majors with the New York Mets in 1995 as a starter and became a full-time reliever in 1999 with Oakland, surpassed 1,000 innings. ... Pujols became the ninth player to hit 25 or more homers in 12 consecutive seasons. ... Trout walked in the first before extended his club record for consecutive stolen bases to 28. ... Masterson ended Cleveland's 10-game road losing streak, after snapping the team's 11-game overall skid in his previous start against Minnesota.