ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- When the Anaheim Angels signed Raul
Mondesi last week after he left Pittsburgh, they knew he had plenty
left to give a contender.
He homered and threw out a runner at the plate to help the
Angels beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 Thursday night for their
third straight victory.
"You're not going to get too many guys who play as hard as
Mondi," said manager Mike Scioscia, whose association with Mondesi
goes back to Scioscia's coaching days with the Dodgers. "This guy
gives everything he has on every play. He fits right in with this
group of guys."
Scioscia watched from the clubhouse. He was suspended along with
pitcher John Lackey. The two were ejected from a May 24 game at
Toronto after Lackey threw consecutive pitches inside to Simon
Pond. Lackey received five games, but is appealing.
Bench coach Joe Maddon ran the Angels in Scioscia's absence for
the first time since he managed the final 29 games of the 1999
season after Terry Collins' resignation.
"Joe knows this club as well as I do and he knows the pitching
staff as well as Buddy Black, so we knew he'd do a great job,"
Anaheim got a two-run triple from Jose Guillen and two-out RBI
singles from Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero to hand AL ERA
leader Cliff Lee his first loss of the season. The Angels have
scored a major league-best 125 runs with two outs.
"It's something we preach, and guys really concentrate well in
those situations," Maddon said. "It's a mental thing, where you
keep grinding out the at-bat regardless of the count. Furthermore,
a lot of the big boys have been coming up in those spots and
they've really delivered."
Kelvim Escobar (4-2) allowed eight hits over eight innings with
six strikeouts. Cleveland's only run against him came in the
seventh, when Ronnie Belliard led off with a bloop single and
scored on Alex Escobar's double-play grounder with the bases
"The think about Kelvim is that he has among the top
breaking-ball repertoires in the American League," Maddon said.
"With his slider, curveball, split and his changeup, he has as
good an arsenal as anybody. And he used them all tonight."
"It's always great when you get a defensive play like that,"
Escobar said. "He was kind of shallow, and I know Martinez can't
run that well, so I knew we had a shot to get him at home plate."
Mondesi, a two-time Gold Glove winner, was playing his fourth
game with the Angels after he left the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier
this month and had his contract terminated. He led off the sixth
with his third homer of the season.
"They've got everything you could possibly want in a ballclub --
guys who hit for power, contact hitters, pitching, speed and
defense. That's why they're tough," Cleveland's Casey Blake said.
Lee (5-1) allowed three runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings,
increasing his ERA from 2.87 to 3.27.
David Eckstein, 5-for-5 Wednesday night against Boston, extended
his career-best hitting streak to 18 games with a two-out double in
the third and scored on a single by Figgins. But Eckstein strained
his right hamstring on the way to the plate and had to leave the
"We'll evaluate it on a daily basis, but we're obviously going
to be very conservative with this and take it slow -- especially as
important as Eck's legs are for range at shortstop and leading off,
getting on base and having to run," Scioscia said.
Guerrero, who drove in a club-record nine runs Wednesday,
leads the AL with 50 RBI. ... Kelvim Escobar pitched to his
cousin, Alex Escobar, for the first time in the majors. Alex was
0-for-3 against him. ... It was the first time Scioscia missed a
game in his four-plus seasons in Anaheim. ... The crowd of 39,353
pushed the Angels' home attendance total to 1,017,697 in 25 games
to reach the million mark, the fastest in franchise history. ...
Bengie and Jose Molina, the only brother catching combination in
the majors, got to see brother Yadier's big league debut with St.
Louis Cardinals on the video board while doing their pregame
stretching. Yadier had two hits and scored a run. ... Angels closer
Troy Percival wasn't available, having had a cortisone shot earlier
in the day because of inflammation in his right elbow.