CLEVELAND (AP) -- Travis Hafner wasn't looking for a lot of presents on his birthday. He did get a gift from the Los Angeles Angels: Another opportunity with the bases loaded.
Travis Hafner will remember his 29th birthday: His grand slam was the big hit in Cleveland's 14-2 win over the Angels. It was the 275th bases-loaded homer in Indians history -- but the first one hit by a player celebrating his birthday!• For more Elias Says, Click here
Hafner hit a grand slam and tied a career high with six RBI to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Angels 14-2 on Saturday.Hafner's 15th homer capped Cleveland's eight-run sixth inning and gave the Indians a 10-2 lead. It was his major league-best third grand slam of the season and the fifth of his career."I love to be in that situation," said Hafner, who turned 29 on Saturday.Hafner also singled in a run in the first and added an RBI double in the eighth. Cliff Lee (4-5) allowed two runs in seven innings for the Indians, who won for the fourth time in five games.The Angels scored twice in the top of the sixth to tie it at 2 but errors by right fielder Vladimir Guerrero and shortstop Orlando Cabrera in the bottom half led to eight unearned runs. The Angels committed three errors total and only four of Cleveland's runs were earned."It sounds crazy to say, but the game was a lot closer than the score," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.Victor Martinez and Ben Broussard hit one-out singles off Kelvim Escobar (5-6) to jump start the Indians' big sixth inning. Following a groundout, Ronnie Belliard sent a flyball toward the right-field line. After a long run, Guerrero tried for a catch at about knee level, but the ball hit off his glove and both runners scored to give Cleveland a 4-2 lead."It was a ball that Vlad got to and it should be caught," Scioscia said. "He did a good job getting to it. You hit that ball again, Vlady is going to catch it."Aaron Boone followed with an RBI double. After two walks brought on Brendan Donnelly, Cabrera booted Jhonny Peralta's grounder to make it 6-2. Hafner then hit a 1-1 pitch from Donnelly over the wall in center, coming through again with the bases loaded."You know the pitcher has to come right after you," Hafner said. "You also know you have a chance to make a difference."Grady Sizemore, who walked and scored in the first, hit his 10th homer in the third.Escobar, who has lost four straight starts, was charged with eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. The errors made six of the runs unearned."Anytime you take advantage of opportunities, it will help you get the momentum and hurt the other team," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.Lee took a shutout into the sixth before Garret Anderson hit a two-out, two-run double to tie it. The Angels then loaded the bases, but Kendry Morales grounded out."There was no more room for error," Lee said. "I gave up two runs and I knew I couldn't allow them to score any more runs there."Lee allowed six hits, walked two and struck out four, getting off to a good start in June after a rough May. Lee struggled in six starts last month, going 1-4 with a 7.79 ERA. He allowed 28 earned runs and 51 hits in 32 1/3 innings.Lee didn't allow a hit until Anderson singled with one out in the fourth, but he was erased when Guerrero hit into a double play.
After throwing 59 pitches in the first five innings, Lee needed 33 to get through the sixth. ... The Indians have six grand slams this season. ... Outfielder Jason Michaels had his career-high 11-game hitting streak snapped Saturday. He went 0-for-3 and scored two runs. ... Peralta broke an 0-for-15 slump with an eighth-inning single. ... Angels outfielder Darin Erstad (bone bruise in right ankle) made his first rehab appearance as the DH at Class-A Rancho
Cucamonga on Friday night. He was 0-for-3 with walk and a run scored. He was scheduled to play center field for Triple-A Salt Lake City on Saturday and will return to the Angels next week if there are no setbacks. ... Escobar had an unusual looking line Saturday. He allowed six hits, struck out six, walked five, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter.