CLEVELAND (AP) -- The base hits didn't pile up so easily or
quickly against Jake Westbrook this time. The sinker-made grounders
that found every possible hole in the infield turned into outs.
His linescore looks better, and so does his record.Westbrook pitched his second shutout this season and earned his
50th career win, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 4-0 victory
over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
Jake Westbrook scattered nine hits in the Indians' 4-0 shutout of the Angels, six days after allowing 15 hits in a victory over the Red Sox. Only two other pitchers in the last 50 years threw a complete-game shutout after allowing as many as 15 hits in their previous appearance: Roger Clemens in 1988 and Jack Billingham in 1977. • For more Elias Says, click here.
Westbrook (9-7) limited the Angels to nine hits -- all singles
and just two after the third inning -- and has won consecutive
starts for the first time since April 4-9. He walked one (not until
the eighth), struck out seven and has pitched into the sixth inning
in 11 of his past 12 starts.The right-hander was coming off a 15-hit win over Boston in
which he became the first pitcher since Montreal's John Dobson in
1988 to give up at least that many hits and win. After three
innings, the Angels had seven hits and Westbrook began to wonder
and worry."I thought for a second that I was going for the 15-hit record
again," he joked.No chance.Using his sinker to near perfection, Westbrook got the Angels to
bounce into three double plays. It was Westbrook's third career
shutout -- he blanked Kansas City on May 17 -- and his 10th complete
game."After the third inning he relaxed and used the zone and got
into his game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He got the
double plays when he needed them."The Indians had one of their best defensive efforts. In the
first, rookie left fielder Joe Inglett made a diving catch to rob
Garret Anderson with two on. In the fourth, shortstop Jhonny Peralta took away a single from Juan Rivera with a backhanded
stab."It was nice to sit back and watch the guys play," Westbrook
said.The Angels lost for the first time in five games and remained
three games back of first-place Oakland in the AL West. With the
Athletics losing 14-0 to Texas, the Angels blew a chance to gain
ground.Victor Martinez had three hits off John Lackey (10-8), and
Shin-Soo Choo had three hits and an RBI as the Indians snapped a
four-game losing streak.Lackey, the AL pitcher of the month in July, when he went 5-1,
has dropped two straight decisions. He allowed three earned runs
and nine hits in six innings, but had issues with his command and
control.Still, he was pleased with his outing."I felt good," he said. "I definitely pitched better than the
numbers show."With four rookies in their starting lineup, the Indians, whose
last six losses have all come by one run, jumped to a 3-0 lead in
the second against Lackey.Martinez led off with a single and Peralta doubled. Choo
followed with an RBI single before Lackey walked Hector Luna to
load the bases. Rookie Ryan Garko hit a sacrifice fly to deep
right, scoring Peralta.One out later, Grady Sizemore hustled down the line to beat out
an infield single to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who bounced his
throw to first in the dirt for an error, allowing Choo to score."John had one rough inning," Scioscia said. "But if we could
have found a way to score it would have been different."Lackey's wildness gave the Indians a 4-0 lead in the fourth. He
walked Luna, who came around to score when Inglett drew a
bases-loaded walk with two outs.
Cleveland's 11 shutouts are the second-most in the majors
behind Detroit's 13, and the club's highest total since 1989. Eight
of the shutouts have come at home. ... 3B Maicer Izturis is the
first Angels player whose last name starts with the letter "I".
... Cabrera's error was the Angels' 89th, most in the AL. Los
Angeles has also given up a major league-high 70 unearned runs. ...
Westbrook is 50-50 in 121 career starts. ... Mistaken identity: A
2004 Casey Blake baseball card is pinned up in the Indians'
clubhouse across from his locker. It contains Blake's biography and
playing statistics on the back, but the front photograph is of
former Cleveland catcher Josh Bard. ... Indians manager Eric Wedge
said he has no jobs promised in his bullpen next season. "It's
wide open," he said. "We've got multiple people out there who
could be a part of our bullpen next year, but that's up to them. We
need to figure out what we've got out there, and who fits where for
next season." ... The Indians are expected to recall RHP Jeremy
Guthrie to start the second game of their day-night doubleheader
Saturday with Kansas City.