CLEVELAND (AP) - A homestand that began with big implications and plenty of optimism for the Cleveland Indians remained a nightmare on Saturday night.
An imploding defense in the eighth inning - along with a struggling offense - helped the Los Angeles Angels secure a 7-2 victory, extending the Indians' losing streak to six games.
``This is a game where how you handle frustration goes so far in how your season is defined. And we're going to find out,' Indians manager Terry Francona said. ``We're not the type of team that can just show up and throw your gloves out. But when we play as a team, we can be pretty good. So that's what we're going to have to do.'
Unfortunately for the Indians, they've been a long way from pretty good lately. Cleveland has lost every game on the current homestand, which included a four-game sweep against the AL Central-leading Tigers. The Indians sit a season-high eight games behind Detroit in the standings after beginning the seven-game homestand three games out of first.
Indians outfielder Drew Stubbs understands the potential lingering effects from that series against the Tigers. Jason Giambi, one of the team's leaders, called a players-only meeting following the last game with Detroit, but even that hasn't helped.
``We had a meeting and made it a point for that not to happen,' Stubbs said. ``We're definitely aware of the carry-over and the potential for that. We just played a bad baseball game tonight.'
Down 3-2 in the eighth, Cleveland committed two of its season-high four errors. Those two errors - by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and second baseman Jason Kipnis - and a wild pitch by Bryan Shaw helped the Angels score four times.
Shuck hit a sacrifice fly for his second RBI of the game, while Chris Nelson drove in a run with a single. Erik Aybar added an RBI fielder's choice and another run scored on Kipnis' wild throw home.
The errors brought the team's season total to 78, fourth-worst in the AL.
With plenty of rest after having his start pushed back, Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7) was able to go 6 1-3 innings, giving up three runs and five hits, striking out five and walking three. Jimenez was hurt by his own throwing error in the fifth inning.
After Chris Iannetta drew a leadoff walk, Grant Green bunted to the left of the mound. Instead of letting third baseman Mike Aviles make the play, Jimenez fielded the ball and uncorked a wild heave that was several feet over the head of first baseman Nick Swisher. The ball landed on the track well beyond the bag and bounced into the stands, allowing the runners to take second and third.
``It was a pretty good bunt. I should have kept the ball instead of throwing it over there, but I thought I had a chance,' Jimenez said.
J. B. Schuck's sacrifice fly scored Iannetta and moved Green to third before Kole Calhoun's fly made it 3-1.
The Indians' stranded 10 runners on base and struck out 12 times, bringing the team's total to 952, fourth-worst in the American League. Cleveland has now been outscored 37-15 during its six-game losing streak.
C.J. Wilson (12-6) allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings to win his fourth consecutive decision and get his eighth win in his last 11 decisions. The left-hander hasn't lost since July 5.
Wilson wasn't at his best, allowing seven hits and walking four, but he dodged trouble often enough before finally being chased in the sixth. He is 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA in five outings against Cleveland since 2010. He's also held opponents to two homers over his last 12 outings.
Stubbs' infield hit scored a run for the Indians in the second.
Mike Trout was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and had an RBI fielder's choice in the third, but an eighth-inning walk allowed him to reach base for the 40th consecutive game.
NOTES: Former Indians OF Rocky Colavito, one of the most popular players in franchise history, threw out the first pitch. ``This is my town,' said Colavito, who played for the Indians from 1955-59 and again in 1965-67. ``I love Cleveland. It's my favorite town in the world.' Colavito, who hit 374 career home runs, including four in one game in 1959, has a strong opinion of players who take performance-enhancing drugs. ``They're cheaters. They cheat. It's an unfair advantage,' he said. ... Francona said LHP Scott Kazmir will be moved back in the rotation and RHP Carlos Carrasco will start Wednesday in Minnesota. Kazmir allowed five first-inning runs Friday and said after the game he had a ``dead arm.' ... The Indians are batting .200 (43 for 215) during the losing streak. ... The series ends Sunday, when RHP Jerome Williams (5-8) starts for the Angels against RHP Justin Masterson (13-8).
The Associated Press News Service
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