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Indians Vs. Angels Preview: Justin Masterson Trying To Right Cleveland's Ship

The Cleveland Indians had a very poor outing on Sunday and are looking to shake it off with a solid west coast road trip. It all gets started on Monday with the first of three games against the Los Angeles Angels.

Aug 8, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson (63) delivers in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
Aug 8, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson (63) delivers in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

The Cleveland Indians have found themselves just about out of playoff contention. After a very strong start to their season, the team's pitching staff has been on a steady decline, culminating in a full-on collapse over the last half of July through to the present. There was an 11-game losing streak in there, but they managed to pick up three wins over their last five, so there's one positive.

As for the negative ... they lost their last outing, a 14-1 collapse at the hands of the Boston Red Sox to split their four-game set two games apiece. Corey Kluber and Josh Tomlin gave up 13 runs combined in that game, and the entire club will be looking to shake off a loss of that magnitude. Cleveland currently sits in third place in the AL Central division, a full 10 games back of the Chicago White Sox.

It's a new day, week and series, as the Indians hit the road for an extended west coast trip, starting with a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels. Game one will see Justin Masterson take the mound for The Tribe. He's 8-10 on the season with a 4.68 earned-run average, and is coming off a win in his most recent outing. He lasted seven innings against the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 8, allowing two earned runs while striking out seven.

His counter will be C.J. Wilson for the Angels. He boasts a solid 3.34 ERA on the season, with a record of 9-8 He's been on a bad streak though, with three-straight losses in his outings, though the run support has certainly been lacking. Still, he gave up three earned runs in his last outing, and eight earned runs before that. He'll be looking to right the ship in this one.

Game one is set for 10:05 p.m. on Monday at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.