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Cleveland Indians

Talbot stifles Angels, as Tribe wins eighth in row

By Sheldon Published: April 12, 2011

ANAHEIM, Calif.: Tyler Chatwood appeared to grow up as a big-league pitcher in less than an hour Monday night at Angels Stadium. ¶

Called up from Triple-A earlier in the day to take the place of Dan Haren, Chatwood made his major-league debut starting against the Indians, who won their eighth consecutive game 4-0 over the Angels, behind another dominating pitching performance, this time by Mitch Talbot. ¶

""That was a terrific performance by Mitch,'' manager Manny Acta said. ""It was huge.'' ¶

Chatwood looked very much the raw rookie for two innings, giving up all four Tribe runs. Asdrubal Cabrera whacked his fourth home run of the season with nobody on and one out in the first inning, giving him four homers in the past six games. ¶

Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo made loud outs during the inning, Brantley hitting a line derive to center and Choo driving Torii Hunter to the track in right to catch his long fly. ¶

In the second, it got worse for Chatwood. Orlando Cabrera delivered a one-out single, Austin Kearns doubled him to third, and Matt LaPorta launched a laser shot to the opposite field in right for his second home run of the season, giving him three more RBI. ¶

""It was a good count (3-and-1) to take a good rip,'' Acta said of Cabrera's home run swing. ""It's not easy to hit the ball out of here at night. That's the type of power LaPorta has when he's right. He can go pole to pole. That's how strong he is.'' ¶

But after LaPorta went deep, as if by magic, Chatwood became a veteran. ¶

He pitched three more innings and gave up zero hits and four walks. Even when he loaded the bases on walks with one out in the fifth, he knew exactly what to do: induce Choo to slap a ground ball to second that started an inning-ending double play. ¶

""He made good pitches when he had to,'' Acta said. ""I thought we had a chance to break the game open, but you have to give Chatwood credit.'' ¶

So was it Chatwood the quick learner, or an Indians team whose bats suddenly went cold? The Angel bullpen didn't have much trouble keeping the Tribe at bay. Francisco Rodriguez, Scott Downs and Rich Thompson allowed two hits and a walk from the sixth through the ninth innings. ¶

If it was pitching you wanted to see Monday night, you had to keep an eye on Talbot, who was pretty good early and very good late. ¶

""I don't know if I got better,'' he said. ""I think maybe my confidence kept going up and up.'' ¶
Talbot was shaky in his first start of the season last week against the Red Sox, when he lasted 41/3 innings and gave up two runs. It certainly wasn't a horrible outing, but he was forced to leave early after running his pitch count to 102. ¶

He also must be a quick learner. In Monday's start, Talbot delivered eight strong innings, using 112 pitches and holding the Angels scoreless rather easily. In all, Talbot gave up five hits and two walks, striking out three. ¶

""Talbot's performance was very important,'' Acta said. ""When you're on a winning streak, one of the things you have to be able to do is manage your bullpen. He gave me a chance not to have to use Tony Sipp and Chris Perez tonight.'' ¶

Except for Mark Trumbo's line drive single to center ith two outs in the second inning, the hits Talbot gave up were nothing to be particularly proud of. ¶

Howie Kendrick bounced a single off Talbot in the third inning, Alberto Callaspo dumped a bloop hit into right in the fourth, and Hank Conger reached after LaPorta made a diving stop of his hard ground ball down the first base line but couldn't make an accurate throw to first. ¶

Talbot was given a chance to finish the game, but after he gave up a single to leadoff batter Bobby Abreu that was just out of the reach of Jack Hannahan at third, Vinnie Pestano was summoned from the bullpen. ¶

""It's something you don't see much these days,'' Acta said. ""So I wanted to give Mitch an opportunity to throw a complete game shutout. But that's the way we planned it (to take him out if a runner reached).'' ¶

Talbot wasn't sure about his boundaries. ¶

""I didn't know if it was a guy getting on or someone getting in scoring position,'' he said. ""He didn't tell me anything.'' ¶

Pestano was charged with retiring three of the Angels best hitteres. He struck out Torii Hunter, induce Vernon Wells to lift a routine fly to right and got Alberto Callaspo on a fly to center. ¶

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