Anaheim, CA – Justin Masterson tossed six-plus scoreless innings, Brent Lillibridge hit a solo homer and the Indians defeated the Angels, 6-2, on Monday in the opener of a three-game series.
Masterson (9-10) scattered six hits, walked three, struck out four and improved to 3-0 in seven career starts against the Angels.
"The last couple of starts I've been good. I got a couple of breaks out there tonight. I just want to go out there and pitch. The boys came through and put up some runs," said Masterson.
Jason Donald and Asdrubal Cabrera had back-to-back RBI singles in the third inning for the Indians, who are just 10-21 since the All-Star break despite having won four of their last six games.
C.J. Wilson (9-9) dropped his fifth straight decision, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. The lefty hasn't recorded a win since June 26 -- a span of nine starts. He was relieved by LaTroy Hawkins after attempting to catch a line drive with his bare hand.
Albert Pujols cut the Angels' deficit to 3-2 with a two-run, eighth-inning homer, but the Indians responded with three runs in the ninth. They loaded the bases on three straight singles off of Hisanori Takahashi before Jason Isringhausen walked Lou Marson, gave up a sacrifice fly to Jason Kipnis, and allowed Casey Kotchman to score on a wild pitch.
Chris Perez entered with runners on first and second in the bottom half and recorded three straight strikeouts for his 32nd save of the season, sending the Angels to their ninth loss in 12 games.
Los Angeles went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. In the seventh, Masterson was relieved by Joe Smith after Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo led off with consecutive singles.
Trumbo moved to third base on Howie Kendrick's deep fly out, but Smith struck out Erick Aybar and Chris Iannetta in succession to escape.
Pujols' homer -- his 25th of the season -- came with one down and scored Mike Trout, who led off with a walk. Vinnie Pestano gave up the blast to deep left, but retired Kendrys Morales and Trumbo to end the inning.
"For the first six innings tonight we hit the ball hard and had nothing to show for it," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "Early runs are important. Getting leads and holding them is what we have to do."
Kendrick's error at the start of the third allowed Lillibridge to reach first base. Marson followed with a one-out walk before Donald and Cabrera laced consecutive singles for a 2-0 lead.
Lillibridge belted his second homer of the season an inning later. His first homer of the year came on Saturday, when he had three hits and two RBI in a 5-2 win over the Red Sox.
Ezequiel Carrera, Lillibridge and Kotchman started the ninth with three straight singles to load the bases.
The Indians improved to 13-5 against teams from the AL West on the season, which is the highest winning percentage versus that division by any team in the major leagues this year...Perez recorded his 100th career save...Cleveland leads the season-series, 5-2...Pestano entered the game with a 21-inning scoreless streak, which marked the longest by an Indians pitcher this season.