The first place Indians met the first place Angels on national television in "La-La-Land" tonight. They will leave with heads held high after splitting a 4-game series and outplaying the Angels in the last two games.
You had to wonder about rookie Aaron Laffey making this start in this situation. Although he had a somewhat rough start (one run in each of the first two innings), he maintained the poise and never quit attitude that have won him the #5 spot in the Tribe starting rotation. Laffey gave up 2 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks and 3 strike outs in 5 innings. Jensen Lewis, Raphael Perez, and Joe Borowski combined for a scoreless relief effort that sealed the deal.
As great as the pitching was, the real story was Grady Sizemore.
In the 4th inning with the Angels ahead 2-0, Grady led off the inning with a perfectly executed bunt down the third base line. He quickly stole second base. Then, when Asdrubal Cabrera smashed a single off of the glove of Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman, Sizemore never hesitated to score, taking the Angels by complete surprise. This ignited a 5-run inning with Ryan Garko's 17th home run of the season with two runners on.
Leading off the next inning, Sizemore laced a line drive to right field, never hesitating going to second base, again catching the Angels by surprise. He scored the 6th Tribe run on a double by Cabrera.
Until Sizemore sparked the offense, they seemed to be mesmerized by Angels starter Jered Weaver.
With this impressive win, the Indians go back to 6 full games ahead of the Tigers in the division. Their magic number drops to 14 and they have won 13 of their last 16 games.
The way the Indians played the Angels over the weekend, you have to not only feel great about their chances to win the division but also about their ability to advance in the playoffs!
Indians' Summer continues!