Robertson, Cron lead seventh-inning rally to down Tribe

Tropeano endures rough fourth inning, but minimizes damage

Robertson, Cron lead seventh-inning rally to down Tribe

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Daniel Robertson hit an RBI double and scored on C.J. Cron's sacrifice fly in the seventh, giving the Angels a one-run lead and paving the way for a 4-3 win over the Indians at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Wednesday.

The Angels have won five of their last six games.

The Indians plated three runs off Nick Tropeano in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk by Ryan Rohlinger, a sacrifice fly by Brett Hayes and an RBI single by Destin Hood. But the Angels regained the lead three innings later with a little small ball. Grant Green reached on a bunt single, Robertson doubled down the right-field line on a perfect hit-and-run and D'Arby Myers followed with a sacrifice bunt, leading to the Cron sac fly that drove in the winning run.

Joe Smith, Mike Morin and Vinnie Pestano retired nine of 10 batters from the sixth to the eighth.


Joyce gets a workout: Matt Joyce played the field for the first time since complaining of a tight right hamstring on March 16, and he certainly got his work in. At the plate, he went 2-for-2 with a line-drive single, a no-doubt homer and a walk. On the basepaths, he got thrown out trying to score from first. In the field, he made a diving catch with the bases loaded.

Joyce's diving catch

Rotation race: In his latest audition for a spot in Cleveland's rotation, Josh Tomlin allowed a lot of hard contact in four-plus innings. The right-hander scattered nine hits, holding the Halos to two runs, though two baserunners were cut down at home plate for outs. Tomlin gave up Joyce's solo shot in the third, continuing the pitcher's trend of allowing homers. He gave up 18 blasts in 104 innings last season and has yielded two through eight frames this spring.

"It was kind of typical Josh," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He gave up some hits, but he hangs in there and he doesn't beat himself. Even though he gave up [nine] hits, there's only two runs. He's throwing strikes. He ended up going out there for the fifth. They really worked him -- a lot of deep counts, a lot of foul balls -- but he doesn't beat himself."

Tropeano struggles in fourth: Tropeano -- starting his first Cactus League game while aiming to win the fifth spot of the Angels' rotation -- retired nine of the first 10 batters, but ran into trouble in the fourth. The 24-year-old right-hander put the first three batters on -- on an infield single, an error and a walk -- then issued a bases-loaded walk, a sacrifice fly and an RBI single. Tropeano finished giving up three runs (one earned) on two hits and three walks in four innings.

Welcome back, Murph: Veteran outfielder David Murphy missed the previous four games due to a minor right ankle injury -- sustained on Friday, also against the Angels -- and returned to the lineup as the designated hitter Wednesday. Murphy led off the fourth inning with a single, helping ignite a three-run outburst for Cleveland.


"I feel good. I feel like they know my stuff's there. I got a lot of swings-and-misses today. You can't focus on what you can't control. It's one of those things. You just take it day by day and just keep working hard."
-- Tropeano, on where he stands for a rotation job


• Cron, who's expected to get a lot of at-bats as the Angels' designated hitter, went 2-for-3 with a double and a sac fly to extend his hitting streak to seven games and raise his Cactus League batting average to .396 (19-for-48).

• Right-hander Anthony Swarzak, who is vying for a bullpen spot with the Tribe as a non-roster invitee, has a bloated ERA (10.57), but his past three appearances (no runs, no hits, one walk and five strikeouts in three innings) have been strong.


Johnny Giavotella, looking like a front-runner for the Angels' starting second baseman job, went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .303. Taylor Featherston, perhaps an ideal fit to be the utility infielder, started at shortstop and went 0-for-4 while reaching on a fielder's choice. Green entered as a left fielder in the sixth, then reached on a bunt single in the seventh and scored from first. Josh Rutledge, batting .205 this spring, got at-bats in a B game earlier.


Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar will continue his bid for a rotation spot Thursday, when the Indians host the Reds in a 4:05 p.m. ET Cactus League contest at Goodyear Ballpark. Setup men Bryan Shaw, Scott Atchison and Marc Rzepczynski are among the other Tribe pitchers slated to pitch. The game will be televised on SportsTime Ohio and MLB.TV.

Angels: Jered Weaver makes his second-to-last start before Opening Day on Thursday, when the Angels travel to Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., to face the Cubs at 4:05 p.m. PT. ESPN and MLB.TV will broadcast the game, with Albert Pujols and Mike Trout likely starting after an off-day Wednesday. Weaver has given up one run in 10 1/3 innings in his last two starts, scattering five hits, walking one and striking out 11.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.