By Pete Zarustica
It was a big night for fans of scoring, but a big heartbreak for the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night. After battling back from a 7-0 first inning deficit to send the game into extra innings, the Halos suffered an 11-7 loss to the Cleveland Indians on a grand slam home run by Edward Encarnacion in the bottom of the 11th inning.
His four-run four-bagger was the second grand slam in the game hit by the Tribe, which won a fifth straight. The Angels’ record fell to 49-52, which dropped them into fourth place in the American League West. They are four games out in the AL wild card race.
“There’s some positive to it,” Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. “We’re down early by quite a bit of runs, but it shows what this team has been about all year. We didn’t throw in the towel. We battled, we chipped away. We had two good innings and ended up tying the game. We had a couple chances, and they made some good plays or we ran into some outs, but we showed fight today.”
Cleveland lit up Angel starter Jesse Chavez for seven runs in the top of the first, including a bases-loaded home run by Bradley Zimmer. But the Halos battled back with four runs in the third – three on a three-run home run by Kole Calhoun – and two more in the fifth on a two-run dinger by Luis Valbuena.
Yunel Escobar’s double in the sixth knotted it up for the Orange County team, and the score stayed at 7-7 until Encarnacion’s big hit.
The Angels totaled 13 hits in the game, led by Simmons with three. Top RBI men were Calhoun and Valbuena, each with three. The loss went to Bud Norris (1-3), who yielded the game-ending home run.
Ricky Nolasco (4-11) will make the start for the Angels on Wednesday.