ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Tyler Chatwood got a rude welcome to the big leagues, courtesy of the streaking Cleveland Indians.
The 21-year-old right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake by the Los Angeles Angels when Dan Haren's scheduled start was pushed back a day because of a rare relief outing on Saturday night. Chatwood gave up four runs, four hits and four walks over five innings. All of the runs came on homers by Asdrubal Cabrera and Matt LaPorta on Monday night in a 4-0 victory by the Indians, their eighth in a row.
``I think I felt more anxious than nervous, but it was definitely exciting to get out there and just have the opportunity to pitch in Angel Stadium, finally,' Chatwood said. ``There was a lot of adrenaline going through me. I felt confident the whole time and just tried to attack the zone and get ahead early in the count. I'm not satisfied with my outing because I didn't keep my team in the game and we lost. But I've just got to learn from it.'
Chatwood was trying to become the second-youngest pitcher since 2000 to win in his big league debut. The youngest pitcher to do it was Angels teammate Scott Kazmir, on Aug. 23, 2004 with Tampa Bay.
Chatwood was the organization's minor league pitcher of the year last season, and has just 6 2-3 innings of Triple-A experience. Hank Conger, who caught him in that game - and in Chatwood's only spring training start with the Angels - started behind the plate for the third time this season, hoping to give his batterymate somewhat of a comfort zone.
``I thought he pitched really well, and to finish strong like that really says a lot about him,' Conger said. ``He just battled. I mean, he gave up those two home runs, but he just kept competing and kept attacking the hitters over the last three innings. He's soaked in a lot of experience, and it's only going to get better from here. I see a long career for him.'
Cabrera, the Indians' No. 2 hitter, drove Chatwood's eighth pitch of the game over the center field fence on a 3-1 count and LaPorta added a three-run shot in the second. Chatwood walked the bases loaded in the fifth and went to 3-2 on Shin-Soo Choo before retiring him on an inning-ending double-play grounder to second base.
``He made good pitches when he had to what that breaking ball and that changeup,' Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. ``We probably could have gotten a few more runs, but he made a good pitch on Choo and got himself out of that inning. We thought that was an opportunity for us to break the game open. But he battled and you've got to give him credit.'
Mitch Talbot (1-0) came within three outs of his first big league shutout, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out four. He was lifted after Bobby Abreu led off the ninth with a double on Talbot's 112th pitch.
The Angels were quite impressed by what they saw from Talbot. In his only other start against them, he gave up a run over 6 1-3 innings in 9-2 win at Anaheim on April 27, 2010.
``He was in a zone,' said Angels right fielder Torii Hunter, who didn't get a ball out of the infield in four at_bats. ``He had all his pitches working - the two-seamer, the cutter, the changeup, and the slider. He threw everything at us but the kitchen sink. He had trust in his stuff and threw it at anytime for strikes. When he needed a ground ball and a big out, he got it done. We just couldn't get him up in the zone to get under the ball and get it to the outfield. We kept hitting it on the ground.'
The Indians' winning streak is their longest since a 10-game stretch in August 2008. Coming off a sweep at Seattle, they have started out 4-0 on the road for the first time since 1998 (6-0). The 8-2 start overall is their best since 2002, when they won 12 of their first 13.
``I don't think anybody expected us to come out like this,' Talbot said, ``But you look down this lineup and it's pretty good.'
Angels reliever Scott Downs was activated after opening the season on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken big toe on his left foot and made his Angels debut with a perfect eighth inning. The 35-year-old left-hander signed a three-year, $15 million contract as a free agent in December after spending his first six big league seasons with Toronto.
Notes: Cleveland 2B Orlando Cabrera, who won a Gold Glove at shortstop with the Angels in 2007 and set a club record for shortstops that season with 192 hits, is playing for his sixth different team in a five-year span. ... Michael Brantley has no RBIs in 32 career at_bats against the Angels. ... Asdrubal Cabrera has four homers, one more than he hit last season in 381 at_bats. He missed two months with a broken left forearm. ... Mark Langston threw a ceremonial first pitch on the 21st anniversary of his Angels debut, when he pitched seven innings of a combined no-hitter with Mike Witt against Seattle at the Big A against Seattle. ... The Indians' Class A Lake County club in the Midwest League got a combined no-hitter Monday night from Trey Haley, Francisco Jimenez and Clayton Elhert against Dayton.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved