CLEVELAND -- Rookie Mike Clevinger did not write his name into the history books, but the Indians' starter did give the Angels a glimpse of what they traded away. On Saturday night, Clevinger carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, helping guide Cleveland to a 5-1 victory at Progressive Field.
"That was fun," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He did a good job. He came out and his stuff -- kind of like a lot of times -- his stuff was pretty electric early. He had some walks, there was some traffic, but he really competed."
Clevinger -- dealt to the Tribe by Los Angeles on Aug. 7, 2014, in exchange for reliever Vinnie Pestano -- limited the Angels to one hit in his 5 2/3 innings for the American League Central-leading Indians. The Tribe's offense offered some early support, plating four runs in the first two frames against L.A. righty Matt Shoemaker.
"It was storybook-esque," Clevinger said. "It was everything I could imagine and more. It's hard to describe right now."
The loss was the ninth in a row for the Angels, whose lone run came in the second inning, when Andrelton Simmons drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a groundout. Simmons also helped L.A. avoided being on the wrong side of history, delivering an infield single into the hole on the left side, where the ball nicked the glove of shortstop Francisco Lindor.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Getting defensive: Clevinger benefited from a handful of slick plays behind him. Third baseman Jose Ramirez, in particular, made a pair of impressive diving stops. First, Ramirez snared a sharp grounder from Johnny Giavotella in the second, recovering in time to throw him out at first. That helped limit the Angels to one run in what could have been a big inning. Ramirez later made a diving catch on a line drive from Yunel Escobar to begin the sixth.
"He made a couple really nice plays," Indians catcher Chris Gimenez said. "That play down the line that they ended up scoring a run, that was a big one. That ended up saving a run or two at least right there. Having that play made for [Clevinger] I think kind of settled him down a little bit."
Simmons snaps no-no: With two away in the sixth, Simmons rolled a chopper that just got by Lindor and skipped into left field. The single marked the first for the Halos, snapping an 0-for-17 skid against Clevinger. Despite being held hitless through the first 5 2/3 innings, the Angels were able to plate a run in the second with the help of two free passes.
"It's tough when a guy is making pitches and the defense is playing really good behind him," Simmons said. "He made some good pitches, but whenever we did square it up, they went and made diving plays. There is only so much you can do."
Striking first: The Indians are 47-14 when they score first this season, and they wasted no time in jumping ahead against L.A. With two outs in the first inning, Cleveland pieced together four consecutive hits off Shoemaker. The last two in that sequence were an RBI double from Ramirez and a two-run single off the bat of Lonnie Chisenhall. Gimenez also drove in a run for the Tribe.
"He has pitched some really good games," Francona said of Shoemaker. "That last time in Anaheim, he was phenomenal. He had a fastball and a split, and we couldn't lay off of it. Tonight, we did a better job. He does a good job. You know he's going to stay out there and pitch, because I think he averages a little over six [innings] a game, but he's consistent."
Streak snapped: Cleveland's three-run first ended an 18-inning scoreless streak Shoemaker had held against the Indians. Entering Saturday night, Shoemaker had allowed just two earned runs in 22 combined innings against the Tribe in his career. Shoemaker ended the night having allowed five runs on 12 hits across six frames. He recorded three strikeouts and did not walk a batter in the loss.
"I thought the first inning, I pitched really well, except those last two hits," Shoemaker said. "It's always more frustrating when it's two outs, but it's essentially the same each inning -- you have to get three outs. I have to go out and do that." More >
"About the fourth, I was looking to see who was coming up on the board and I was like, 'Wait, there are no hits up there.' I tried as hard as I could to clear it out of my head. It took me back for a second." -- Clevinger, on flirting with a no-hitter
"You could argue it's very high. I'm going out every game and fighting for this team, trying to get us a win. As I've said a lot, I'm trying to go out and put up zeros. If we put up a lot of zeros we are going to win games." -- Shoemaker, on the level of discouragement regarding the Angels' nine-game skid
"Jose is a special man right there. Hair, glove, bat, you name it. He's 3-for-3 right now." -- Gimenez, on Ramirez
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• Ramirez's RBI double in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 17 games and continued his strong showing with runners in scoring position this season. The Indians third baseman is now hitting .426 (20-for-47) with RISP and two outs, leading the Majors (min. 40 at-bats). Ramirez is batting .383 (36-for-94) overall with RISP this year.
• Shoemaker did not walk a batter for the eighth time this season and 20th time in his career. His 20 outings with zero walks are the most by an Angels pitcher through his first 100 career games. The next closest mark is Fred Newman with 18 between 1962-67.
The start of Saturday's game was delayed two hours and 11 minutes due to rain. The first pitch was thrown at 9:21 p.m. ET. Cleveland and Los Angeles dealt with two rain delays on Friday night.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: Right-hander Jered Weaver (8-9, 5.19 ERA) will take the bump for the Angels in Sunday's series finale at 10:10 a.m. PT. Weaver has allowed nine runs (seven earned) across 11 frames in his two starts this month. He is 9-5 with a 3.73 ERA in 20 career starts against the Tribe. In those outings, he has whiffed 89 batters compared to 38 walks in 102 2/3 innings.
Indians: Cleveland will hand the ball to right-hander Trevor Bauer (8-5, 3.88 ERA) for the Sunday afternoon tilt at 1:10 p.m. ET. On Tuesday in Washington, Bauer logged 6 1/3 shutout innings in a win over the Nationals. The righty had turned in an 8.37 ERA in his previous five turns for the Tribe.