Angels third baseman Mark Trumbo congratulates right fielder Torii Hunter… (Jason Miller / Getty Images )
CLEVELAND — Dan Haren threw eight superb innings, and a shaky bullpen held on for a change, as the Angels beat the Cleveland Indians, 2-1, on Saturday in Progressive Field to snap a five-game losing streak.
Haren allowed one run and four hits, struck out seven and walked two, and he retired 13 of the last 15 batters he faced, but with his pitch count at 119, Manager Mike Scioscia had little choice but to turn to his bullpen, which had blown six of its first seven save opportunities this season.
But this time, left-hander Scott Downs, who replaced struggling right-hander Jordan Walden as the team’s closer on Friday, retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.
With temperatures dipping to 43 degrees after a 2-hour 27-minute rain delay, the Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Howie Kendrick walked with one out, took third on Albert Pujols’ single to left-center field and score on Kendrys Morales’ hard ground-ball single off second baseman Jason Kipnis’ glove.
They pushed the lead to 2-0 in the fourth when Torii Hunter hit his second opposite-field home run in as many days, a solo shot to right field off Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez.
Haren got into trouble in the bottom of the fourth when Kipnis led off with a single to right-center and Asdrubal Cabrera walked. Haren nearly escaped the jam by getting Travis Hafner to fly to left and striking out Carlos Santana, but Jack Hannahan stroked a run-scoring single to right to make it 2-1.
Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, but Haren struck out Shelley Duncan looking to end the inning.
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