CLEVELAND -- The Angels can’t hit, most of their relief pitchers can’t get anyone out, and now it seems they can’t catch a break.
With two on, two outs and no score in the bottom of the fifth inning Sunday, Angels right fielder Torii Hunter lost Asdrubal Cabrera’s routine fly in the sun, the ball dropping for a two-run error that sent the Cleveland Indians toward 4-0 victory in Progressive Field.
Cleveland right-hander Derek Lowe went through the Angels lineup like a chainsaw through kindling, giving up three hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings, striking out one and walking two.
The Angels threatened in the eighth inning, loading the bases with two outs when Maicer Izturis walked and Chris Iannetta singled off Lowe, and reliever Vinnie Pestano walked Mike Trout.
But Pestano struck out Howie Kendrick swinging to end the inning, and the Indians, with the help of reliever Kevin Jepsen’s throwing error, tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Chris Perez threw a scoreless ninth inning to complete the shutout, marking the fourth time in 22 games this season the Angels have not scored a run.
Angels right-hander Ervin Santana rebounded from an awful four-game stretch to open the season to throw seven strong innings, giving up two unearned runs and seven hits, striking out three and walking two. But Santana, who gave up a major league-high 10 homers in his first four games, was tagged with the loss and fell to 0-5.
The Angels closed a 1-5 trip through Tampa Bay and Cleveland in which they scored nine runs and hit .165 (31 for 188) as a team, including .133 (4 for 30) with runners in scoring position. Their record fell to 7-15, matching the worst 22-game start in franchise history, set in 1976.