video thumbnail

CLE@TEX: Masterson strikes out six over 5 2/3

The Angels and Indians will press the reset button on Thursday after the scheduled Justin Masterson-C.J. Wilson matchup on Wednesday was postponed due to rain.

The postponement gives Cleveland a day to reevaluate how to attack Los Angeles' scorching star, Mike Trout.

After reaching base three times and swiping a pair of bags in the series opener on Monday, Trout launched a pair of home runs and a double in the Angels' 9-3 win on Tuesday.

Since his batting average dipped to .263 on May 19, Trout has posted a .410/.475/.819 slash line in 101 plate appearances. He's accumulated 17 extra-base hits in his last 22 games.

"I'm just being patient and not trying to do too much," Trout said after Tuesday's game. "I'm squaring up some balls."

Cleveland manager Terry Francona jokingly suggested that the Halos rest Trout.

"I actually think for his sake they should rest him tomorrow," Francona said after his team's loss on Tuesday. "Has a chance to be a pretty good player; you don't want to tire him out."

Trout did indeed receive a day off, but so did everyone else as the conditions were deemed too extreme to play Wednesday at Progressive field.

Francona and Angels manager Mike Scioscia opted to push their scheduled Wednesday starters back a day.

This means Masterson receives the opportunity to avenge a rough start last time out.

Cleveland's ace posted the second-shortest start of his career in his last outing, giving up five runs on three hits while walking four in two innings against the Red Sox, inflating his ERA to 5.05 on the season. He threw only 28 of his 59 pitches for strikes.

"It's been an interesting season for me," said Masterson, who posted a 3.45 ERA and three shutouts in 2013. "I threw too many balls [in my last start]. That's more or less what happened."

The Angels could be the perfect team for Masterson to begin his turnaround. In 13 career appearances (10 starts) against the Angels, Masterson is 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA.

The last time Wilson faced the Indians, he held them to one run on two hits over eight innings in a win on April 30. The southpaw has had a rough June so far, seeing his ERA jump from 3.05 to 3.50 after going 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA (10 earned runs in 16 innings) in three starts this month.

Wilson allowed four runs to the Braves in his last start, and he would not take solace in the fact that after a rough first he recovered.

"It's not satisfying at all -- you lost," Wilson said. "It [stinks]. You give up four runs. You make a really good game plan. You spend the four or five days planning out the pitches you're going to throw and you make a couple of mistakes and give up back-to-back homers in the first. There's nothing good about that."

Angels: Cron sits again
It's been a promising start to the career of Angels rookie first baseman/designated hitter C.J. Cron.

It took Cron just 106 plate appearances to accumulate 12 extra-base hits, good for a .461 slugging percentage.

However, a recent slump and an Interleague series sprinkled into the Halos' current road trip has limited Cron's playing time of late. Cron has not started a game on Los Angeles' seven-game road trip, and he was not penciled into the lineup Wednesday before rain wiped the game out.

With Albert Pujols locked into first base and Raul Ibanez earning the lion's share of at-bats at designated hitter against righties, Cron's role has been relegated primarily to DHing against lefties.

"Ever since I've been up here I have kind of platooned," Cron said. "It hasn't switched yet. I come to the field every day as if I'm going to play. If I'm not in the lineup, I'll help the team later in the game."

Indians: Brantley has mild concussion
If Wednesday's game had been played, Michael Brantley would not have been in the lineup.

For the second straight game, Cleveland's blossoming outfielder was forced out of the lineup after being diagnosed with a mild concussion.

"The way it was explained to me it's the type of concussion that should go away faster," Francona said. "And I think we're actually seeing that."

Francona noted that because the concussion is less severe, it's possible that Brantley, who leads the team in home runs, RBIs and runs scored, could avoid the 7-day concussion disabled list and be back on the field by Saturday.

"If he's playing Saturday, he's fine," Francona said. "Because that's the last thing we want to do is run someone out there that shouldn't be. But because of the importance to the lineup and who he is, we'd like to try to have him back as soon as we can."

Worth noting
• Trout leads the American League with a .610 slugging percentage and is second with 155 total bases. He's on pace for a career-best 353 total bases.

• At 38-32, the Angels have a seven-game improvement after 70 games from a season ago.

• Since April 21, Angels shortstop Erick Aybar's .328 batting average is tops by a Major League shortstop, while his 31 RBIs lead AL shortstops.

• Lonnie Chisenhall broke an 0-for-13 streak with a two-hit performance against the Angels on Tuesday night. It was his ninth multihit game since May 30.

• The Tribe saw its 10-game home winning streak snapped with Tuesday night's loss to the Angels. Comments