ANAHEIM, Calif.: Fausto Carmona and Dan Haren locked up in a classic pitcher's battle as the Indians tried to extend their winning streak to nine games Tuesday night.
This is the kind of game the Tribe has been winning lately, but not this time, not with Haren throwing the first one-hitter of his career, the 17th in the history of the franchise.
So the Angels stopped the warriors from the Lake Erie 2-0, but that did nothing to dim the confidence of the visitors.
""I told a couple of guys in the clubhouse after that game, "We just start another winning streak tomorrow,' '' said Shin-Soo Choo, who got the hit off Haren. ""What is there to worry about? We played a great game tonight, but we lost. I just feel bad for Fausto.''
Orlando Cabrera backed up Choo's sentiments.
""This is just a bump in the road,'' he said. ""We faced a great pitcher. That's what it takes for us to get beat.''
Of the 118 pitches Carmona delivered, only two hurt him, but they were decisive. It didn't take much brain power to figure out the offensive stars for the Angels: Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo each whacked a home run to give Haren all the support he needed.
Carmona had never faced Bourjos or Trumbo, a rookie first baseman.
""I try to pitch everybody the same,'' Carmona said. ""I try to keep the ball down. On the first one (homer), the ball was a little up. The second was a good pitch, down.''
The story was the same for both teams through much of the game: strikeouts and ground outs. But there was one difference.
Bourjos, the ninth batter in the Angels' lineup, led off the third inning by driving a ball over the left field wall for his first home run of the season. Trumbo went deep with one out in the seventh.
Carmona delivered 7 2/3 strong innings, despite sustaining his second loss of the season without a win. He allowed four hits (unfortunately for him only one was a single) and walked three, striking out six, all of them swinging.
""Fausto was very good,'' manager Manny Acta said. ""He did everything you could ask for to keep the team in the game, but Haren was too good.''
Haren was even better. The gave up a one-out single to Choo with one out in the fourth. The only walks he allowed were to Jack Hannahan with two outs in the third and to Carlos Santana with one out in the seventh.
Four runners reached base against Haren. Besides the two walks and one base hit, the only other offense the Indians could muster came in the second inning when Orlando Cabrera reached on an error by Alberto Callaspo at third.
""Haren was in complete command and control of those off-speed pitches,'' Acta said. ""Later in the game, he had our guys guessing a little with his fastball.''
In his four at-bats, Choo remembered seeing only three or four fastballs.
""I think it was my third time up,'' he said, ""Haren threw me a fastball down the middle on the first pitch, but I didn't swing because he hadn't done that before. In any count and in any situation, he could throw an off-speed pitch for a strike.''
Haren needed one exceptional defensive play to keep the one-hitter intact. Torii Hunter hauled down Matt LaPorta's drive near the fence in right after a long run with one out in the eighth.
""We didn't hit many balls hard,'' Acta said. ""The one by Matt that Hunter made a good play on. Asdrubal (Cabrera) hit the other.''
Creating any sort of sustained rally also was out of the question for the Angels.
The Angels did have an early opportunity, when Maicer Izturis led off the first inning with a single and took second on the first ground out of the game. Bobby Abreu walked and both runners moved up when Hunter grounded to Jack Hannahan at third. But with two outs, Callaspo bounced to LaPorta at first to end the inning.
Carmona proceeded to retire 20 of 23 batters (after the walk to Abreu). The only runners to reach through the seventh were Bourjos and Trumbo plus Abreu, who walked with two outs in the sixth.
But in the eighth, Bourjos led off with a double just inside the left field line and took third on a bouncer to first by Izturis. Howie Kendrick followed by striking out, and Abreu drew a walk that marked the end of the line for Carmona. Frank Herrmann was summoned from the bullpen, and he induced Hunter to fly to right to end the inning. ¶