Shoemaker's stranglehold on Tribe ends

Angels right-hander can't recover from rough first inning in Cleveland

Shoemaker's stranglehold on Tribe ends

CLEVELAND -- Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker was just one out away from perhaps a whole different game script.

Instead, a few minor things didn't go his way and the first inning got away from him, leading to a 5-1 loss to the Indians on Saturday at Progressive Field. The Halos have now dropped nine straight games, including all eight on this nine-game road trip. It is the worst losing skid as a franchise since dropping nine straight in 1999.

"I'm going out every game and fighting for this team, trying to get us a win," Shoemaker said. "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 had put up plenty of zeros against the Tribe. Entering Saturday, Shoemaker had held an 18-inning scoreless stretch against the Indians. He had allowed just two earned runs in 22 innings in three career starts against Cleveland.

For a brief moment it appeared his dominance would continue as he got the first two batters to roll into quick groundouts. Then, Tribe shortstop Francisco Lindor beat out an infield single to second. First baseman Mike Napoli followed suit with a broken bat single into left.

Third baseman Jose Ramirez squared up on a double to center to score Lindor and then right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall plated two on a single into center, completing a three-run first, and they never looked back.

"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."

Shoemaker was able to respond and labor through six frames. He allowed five runs on a career-high 12 hits with three strikeouts and no walks. It marked Shoemaker's 20th game of his career without a walk, which is the most ever by an Angels pitcher through the first 100 games.

"Outside of closing the first inning, I thought he pitched well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He pitched around a little trouble early in the game, but after that he had good fastball command and finished strong."

The offense did Shoemaker no favors as he took his fourth loss in his last five starts. The Angels managed just one hit off of five Tribe pitchers. It was the first time they were held to one hit since Aug. 26, 2015, at Detroit.

"It's tough when a guy is making pitches and the defense is playing really good behind him," Angels shortstop Andrelton 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."

On a night when very few things went their way, the Halos could have used some help getting the third out in the first frame.

"We had a good game plan and we were executing," Shoemaker said. "I don't take anything away from these guys, they are a really good hitting team. But a ton of ground balls found holes today and sometimes that happens."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.