MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Cleveland0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 3 6141
LA Angels0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 370
  W: M. Clevinger (11-5)   L: T. Skaggs (2-6)
7:08 PM PT8:08 PM MT9:08 PM CT10:08 PM ET22:08 ET2:08 GMT10:08 7:08 PM MST9:08 PM EST9:38 PM VEN6:08 UAE (+1)9:08 PM CT, September 19, 2017
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California  Attendance: 36,171

Red-hot Clevinger, Indians take on Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The last time Cleveland Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger faced the Los Angeles Angels, he had his worst start of the season.

Clevinger, who will take the mound on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium, gave up six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings in Cleveland's 11-7 win on July 25. It also happened to be the game that Clevinger was told he had to change his glove.

Major league rules state that a pitcher cannot use a glove that is gray or white, so Clevinger's gray glove was a violation. Umpire crew chief Bill Miller told Indians manager Terry Francona and Clevinger that the pitcher had to switch out the glove after the first inning.

Following a scoreless inning and a change of gloves, Clevinger gave up four runs in the third and another two runs in the fifth before being removed from the game. Cleveland's 7-0 lead was cut to 7-6, and the game eventually went to extra innings. The Indians won on an 11th-inning, walk-off grand slam by Edwin Encarnacion.

"I don't want to make excuses," Clevinger told, "but on a night when I didn't have my best stuff, (changing gloves) didn't help."

Francona said it wasn't the Angels that alerted Miller about the glove.

"That came from (Miller)," Francona told "I think what happened is that the last time we were in Baltimore, somebody chewed on (Miller's) ear because he didn't say something. That was what he told me. He said, 'I'm not trying to stir anything up. I just don't want to get yelled at.'"

Neither Clevinger nor the Indians are the same as they were on July 25. Back then, Cleveland was in first place, but only 1 1/2 up and just eight games over .500. Now, the Indians have won 24 of 25 and have clinched the American League Central, and Clevinger (10-5, 3.21 ERA) has won five of his past seven decisions.

He also has won four starts in a row, during which he allowed only one earned run (three runs total) in 23 2/3 innings.

In his career against the Angels, Clevinger is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts.

Tyler Skaggs (2-5, 4.37 ERA) will start for Los Angeles, coming off his best start of the season. He shut out the Houston Astros on three hits and one walk over seven innings of a 9-1 win on Wednesday. It was his first victory since he missed 3 1/2 months with a strained oblique muscle.

Skaggs said big differences in his success against the Astros were his two-seam fastball and his overall command of all his pitches.

"(The two-seamer is) completely different from my four-seamer," he told the Orange County Register. "It's a little slower, moves a little better. I also threw some good changeups. I threw the curveball for a strike. When I can throw it for a strike, it opens up everything."

While the Indians have already wrapped up the division crown, the series will be huge for the Angels: Los Angeles is 1 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the second AL wild card.

Cleveland does have something to play for, as the Indians hold a 1 1/2-game lead on Houston for the best record in the AL.

Updated September 19, 2017

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