TEMPE, Ariz. -- Cleveland's Matt LaPorta hit a two-run homer, his first of the spring, to highlight a six-run fifth inning and the Indians added six more in the sixth to complete a 15-5 thrashing of the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Competing for the last spot in the Indians' rotation, Carlos Carrasco gave up four hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked four -- both spring highs.Indians manager Manny Acta said before the game that LaPorta would be the starting first baseman because Russell Branyan is going on the disabled list with a herniated disc in his back.Cleveland signed Branyan to a $2 million free-agent deal in February and immediately made him the starting first baseman, but the 34-year-old has yet to play this spring.Branyan's trip to the DL affects two of the Indians' top prospects. LaPorta, acquired from Milwaukee for CC Sabathia in 2008 now moves out of the left field competition to play first. Michael Brantley, also acquired from the Brewers, is now in line to start the season as the left fielder.LaPorta went 2 for 3 with five RBIs and a run scored against the Angels. His homer came with two out off Jon Bachanov. In the sixth, he hit a two-run double and later had a sacrifice fly.Brantley went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.Shin-soo Choo was 4 for 6 with three RBIs and a run scored. Austin Kearns also had three RBIs, including a two-run double that followed LaPorta's homer.The Angels' Ervin Santana allowed five runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out two and walked two."I had very, very good stuff -- good changeups, sliders and a lot of strikes," he said. "I'm right on time. One more and I'm ready for the season. I try to keep it simple, forget about the runners and worry about the hitters."Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said Santana didn't have his best fastball last season, but is now throwing as well as he did earlier in the spring."He's moved forward and turned the page," he said.The Indians twice scored on bases-loaded walks in the sixth.
Indians 3B Mark Grudzielanek was scratched from the lineup because of a strained hamstring. ... Angels LHP Scott Kazmir is expected to start Tuesday after missing his last outing with left shoulder tightness. ... Angels OF Reggie Willits, hobbled by a strained right hamstring, continues doing more work daily as his condition allows. ... Angels INF Maicer Izturis left Saturday's game with mid-back tightness and will sit a few days.