Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/11)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 10
LA Angels6Final
Cleveland7
Game 2: Wednesday, April 11
LA Angels4Final
Cleveland1
Game 3: Thursday, April 12
LA Angels2Final
Cleveland4

Angels 4

(6-3, 1-1 away)

Indians 1

(3-2, 1-1 home)

7:05 PM ET, April 11, 2007

Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

123456789 R H E
LAA 100002001 4 9 0
CLE 000000100 1 4 2

W: J. Saunders (1-0)

L: J. Westbrook (0-1)

S: F. Rodriguez (4)

Saunders makes case for starting slot as Angels prevail

A CLOSER LOOK
• Summary: Joe Saunders allowed a run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Los Angeles Angels showed up the "host" Cleveland Indians at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Joe Saunders
Saunders

• Turning point: Saunders pitched out of trouble in the third inning, getting Ryan Garko to ground into a double play after loading the bases with one out. He allowed only one baserunner in the next three innings.

• Hero: Saunders, a 25-year-old left-hander, is in the Angels' starting rotation because of injuries to Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver. In his second start of the season, he made a strong bid to stick around once Colon and Weaver return.

• Did you see that?: Thanks to the retractable roof at Miller Park, the Indians finally get to play baseball this week -- but they still can't seem to escape the winter weather. Heavy snow and wind gusts pelted Milwaukee throughout the day on Wednesday and was expected to continue through Thursday morning.

• Quotable: "The Milwaukee fans have been doing a great job showing up, especially with the weather. It's annoying that the snow seems to be following us around." -- Indians manager Eric Wedge

-- ESPN.com news services

Angels 4, Indians 1

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Joe Saunders made sure any home-field advantage the Cleveland Indians brought with them to Milwaukee was only temporary.

Now if he could just figure out where he fits in the Los Angeles Angels' future.

Saunders allowed a run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings and the Angels beat the Indians 4-1 at Miller Park on Wednesday night.

Not bad for a fill-in.

"When he needed to make a pitch, he did," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And he pitched deep into the game -- that's what we needed."

Saunders, a 25-year-old left-hander, is in the Angels' starting rotation because of injuries to Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver. With both Weaver and Colon in the middle of minor league rehab stints, Scioscia is not committing to giving Saunders another start.

"Those are two arms we're going to get back in our rotation here shortly, and we'll make some decisions," Scioscia said.

Saunders said he isn't worried about his role.

"Obviously, I want to be here," Saunders said. "They know I can pitch here, I know I can pitch here. Whatever happens happens."

It was the second game in a three-game series that was moved from Cleveland to Milwaukee after snow showers wiped out the Indians' four-game series against the Seattle Mariners over the weekend, leaving unplayable conditions at Jacobs Field.

Thanks to the retractable roof at Miller Park, the Indians finally get to play baseball this week -- but they still can't seem to escape the winter weather.

Heavy snow and wind gusts pelted Milwaukee throughout the day on Wednesday and was expected to continue through Thursday morning.

"The Milwaukee fans have been doing a great job showing up, especially with the weather," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It's annoying that the snow seems to be following us around."

The Brewers sold 16,375 tickets for Wednesday's game, and many of them showed up despite the snow as fans filled the field-level seats and part of the second deck. An energetic crowd of 19,031 turned out for Cleveland's victory in the series opener on Tuesday night.

"It gets louder as this roof's on -- and thank God we have a roof," Scioscia said. "We wouldn't have been playing."

The series finale is at 1:05 EDT on Thursday, after which the Indians will return to Cleveland for a true home opener against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen already is joking about moving the game to his native Venezuela.

Saunders (1-0) pitched out of trouble in the third inning, getting Ryan Garko to ground into a double play after loading the bases with one out.

"That was the big turning point in the game for me," Saunders said. "If I don't get out of that inning, my pitch count gets up there even higher, and who knows?"

He allowed only one baserunner in the next three innings before giving up a solo home run to Jhonny Peralta in the seventh.

"He was ahead of those guys from there on out, and really pitched well," Scioscia said.

Cleveland's Casey Blake said Saunders was just throwing fastballs and changeups.

"But that's all you need if you have command," Blake said.

Indians starter Jake Westbrook (0-1) proved nearly as difficult to hit as Saunders on Wednesday, giving up three runs and five hits in six innings. But Westbrook allowed four walks, and his occasional control problems led to Angels runs.

"I felt a lot better than my last start, but I didn't do my job in the sixth inning," Westbrook said.

In the sixth Westbrook hit Casey Kotchman, who scored on an RBI triple by Mike Napoli to put the Angels ahead 2-0. Napoli then scored on a wild pitch by Westbrook, putting the Angels ahead 3-0.

Westbrook loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning, then got Garret Anderson to hit into a double play that scored Gary Matthews Jr. from third to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.

Game notes


Wedge said LHP Cliff Lee, who strained an abdominal muscle in February, felt strong in his rehab outing on Tuesday but will need a few more rehab stints before he rejoins the team. Wedge hopes to have him back by the end of the month. ... Angels INF Chone Figgins had the splints removed from his fractured right index and middle fingers and could begin a rehab assignment next week.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES