ANAHEIM, Calif. – Justin Masterson pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning and the Cleveland Indians bounced back from their most lopsided loss of the season to beat the sputtering Los Angeles Angels 6-2 Monday night in the opener of a 10-game road trip.
Brent Lillibridge homered off All-Star lefty C.J. Wilson (9-9), who dropped his fifth straight decision.
Albert Pujols hit his 25th homer for Los Angeles.
Masterson (9-10) scattered six hits, struck out four and walked three over six-plus innings. 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.
Joe Smith relieved Masterson after Mark Trumbo led off the seventh 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 Pujols into the left-field bullpen with one out in the Angels' eighth after a leadoff walk to Mike Trout.
Pujols' drive 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. Lou 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 keep the Angels eight games behind first-place Texas in the AL West.
Wilson (9-9) allowed three runs — two earned — and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out five and was replaced by LaTroy Hawkins after knocking down Marson's line-drive single with his bare hand. Wilson left with a bruise and 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.
The Indians, coming off a 14-1 home loss to Boston, got the jump on Wilson with consecutive RBI singles by Jason Donald and Asdrubal Cabrera in the third inning. One of the runs was unearned due to Kendrick's error on a leadoff grounder to second base by Lillibridge.
Cleveland extended its lead to 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 the 1,000 innings. ... Lillibridge's homer was his second in 13 games with the Indians, after going homerless in his 79 previous games this season with the White Sox and Red Sox. He hit 13 last year for Chicago. ... The Angels haven't scored a first-inning run in eight consecutive games — despite the fact that Trout, their leadoff hitter, has crossed the plate a major league-leading 88 times. Trout walked in the first before extending his club record for consecutive stolen bases to 28. ... Less than 3½ weeks after signing former Angels LHP J.C. Romero to a minor league contract, the Indians traded him to Baltimore for 10-year minor league INF Carlos Rojas. Romero last pitched in the majors on May 12 for the Cardinals, who released him July 10. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia flip-flopped 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. Trumbo is hitting .312 with 15 homers and 31 RBIs in 49 games in the five-hole, compared to .247 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 43 games batting fourth.