Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Jason Kipnis’ first major league hit came at a perfect time. With two down and the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Kipnis came through with an RBI single to cap a two-run frame and hand the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 win over the Angels.
Michael Brantley led off the inning with a single off Jordan Walden (2-3) and stole second to put the tying run in scoring position for Travis Hafner, who ripped a one-out RBI double to left-center knot the game.
Carlos Santana walked and Jack Hannahan was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
“Jordan’s been having a heck of a year for us. He’s had some inning where things don’t quite start off well with the first hitter or two, but he comes back and makes the pitches. Tonight I think he just wasn’t able to do that,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
Hisanori Takahashi came in from the bullpen and retired Travis Buck on a force play grounder. Kipnis, who has spent most of this year at Triple-A Columbus, then lined a base hit to right field to snap Cleveland’s four-game skid.
“I was thinking I couldn’t do it during the regular at-bats so why not now. I might as well do it with all this on the line and fortunately it happened,” Kipnis said about his hit. “I couldn’t be happier right now. This is unreal.”
Asdrubal Cabrera slapped an RBI single, while Tony Sipp (5-2) tossed one scoreless inning in relief to earn the win in the opener of this three-game series.
Bobby Abreu clubbed a two run homer and Alberto Callaspo added a double for the Angels, who have gone 5-5 in their past 10 games.
Earlier, Cleveland grabbed the early lead in its first at-bat. With one out in the inning, Brantley slapped a double down the line in right and scored on the ensuing single by Cabrera.
The Angels threatened in the fourth when walks to Vernon Wells and Callaspo gave them men on first and second with one out. Indians starter Fausto Carmona battled back though, getting Erick Aybar to fly out to right and Mark Trumbo to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Los Angeles threatened again in the fifth. This time, Jeff Mathis hit a one- out double and advanced to third on a Maicer Izturis groundout. Torii Hunter followed with a walk to give the Angels runners on the corners with two down for Abreu. The Angels were unable to cash in, however, as Abreu flew out to deep right to end the inning.
The Angels took the lead in the eighth. Izturis punched a one-out single to center and after Hunter flew out, Abreu cracked his fourth home run of the season deep into the right field seats off Vinnie Pestano.
This is the third game of an eight-game homestand for the Indians, who lost the first two games to the White Sox over the weekend…Los Angeles leads the season series with Cleveland by a 4-3 count…Cleveland is 9-9 against AL West opponents, while Los Angeles is 15-14 against American League Central teams…Callaspo smacked his 16th double of the year in the second inning…Carmona gave up four hits over six scoreless innings while fanning three and walking three, while Angels starter Dan Haren yielded one run on three hits over 7 2/3 frames, striking out 10 and walking two.