CLEVELAND (AP) — A homestand that began with big implications and plenty of optimism for the Cleveland Indians remained a nightmare on Saturday night.
An imploding defense in the eighth inning — along with a struggling offense — helped the Los Angeles Angels secure a 7-2 victory, extending the Indians' losing streak to six games.
"This is a game where how you handle frustration goes so far in how your season is defined. And we're going to find out," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We're not the type of team that can just show up and throw your gloves out. But when we play as a team, we can be pretty good. So that's what we're going to have to do."
Unfortunately for the Indians, they've been a long way from pretty good lately. Cleveland has lost every game on the current homestand, which included a four-game sweep against the AL Central-leading Tigers. The Indians sit a season-high eight games behind Detroit in the standings after beginning the seven-game homestand three games out of first.
Indians outfielder Drew Stubbs understands the potential lingering effects from that series against the Tigers. Jason Giambi, one of the team's leaders, called a players-only meeting following the last game with Detroit, but even that hasn't helped.
"We had a meeting and made it a point for that not to happen," Stubbs said. "We're definitely aware of the carry-over and the potential for that. We just played a bad baseball game tonight."
Down 3-2 in the eighth, Cleveland committed two of its season-high four errors. Those two errors — by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and second baseman Jason Kipnis — and a wild pitch by Bryan Shaw helped the Angels score four times.
Shuck hit a sacrifice fly for his second RBI of the game, while Chris Nelson drove in a run with a single. Erik Aybar added an RBI fielder's choice and another run scored on Kipnis' wild throw home.
The errors brought the team's season total to 78, fourth-worst in the AL.
With plenty of rest after having his start pushed back, Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7) was able to go 6 1-3 innings, giving up three runs and five hits, striking out five and walking three. Jimenez was hurt by his own throwing error in the fifth inning.
After Chris Iannetta drew a leadoff walk, Grant Green bunted to the left of the mound. Instead of letting third baseman Mike Aviles make the play, Jimenez fielded the ball and uncorked a wild heave that was several feet over the head of first baseman Nick Swisher. The ball landed on the track well beyond the bag and bounced into the stands, allowing the runners to take second and third.
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