Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Angels gave pitcher Roberto Hernandez a rude awakening on his return to the Major Leagues as they battered the starter during an 8-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, was making his first appearance in this campaign after a tumultuous off-season, when he was arrested in his native Dominican Republic on charges of identity fraud.
It’s going to be huge. The race is tight right now, we’re going to take it one game at a time and hopefully win the series.
Visa issues had prevented him from entering the United States and he was only recently reinstated with the Indians.
The Angels did not make things much easier on his return, grabbing control with a five-run second inning and chasing Hernandez after the sixth, where they led 8-1.
Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta both homered for Los Angeles (62-56), who was without rested slugger Albert Pujols but still finished the three-game series with two straight wins.
The Angels are locked in a tight American League wild card race and will now face Tampa Bay, another AL contender.
“It’s going to be huge,” Trout told reporters. “The race is tight right now, we’re going to take it one game at a time and hopefully win the series.”
Ervin Santana helped them claim their latest series by cruising through seven innings and allowed just one run to record the victory.
“He did a really good job of commanding the strike zone. He mixed up his pitches,” Angels catcher Iannetta said. “He picked up the pace when he needed to, slowed down when he needed to. It was a good job by him.”
Shin-Soo Choo blasted a three-run homer for the Indians (54-64) in the eighth but Cleveland never really threatened to mount a comeback.
Baseball results from Wednesday
(Home team in CAPS) MIAMI 9 Philadelphia 2 Detroit 5 MINNESOTA 1 CHICAGO CUBS 7 Houston 2 COLORADO 7 Milwaukee 6 SEATTLE 1 Tampa Bay 0 Washington 6 SAN FRANCISCO 4 BALTIMORE 5 Boston 3 NY YANKEES 3 Texas 2 LA Dodgers 9 PITTSBURGH 3 Chicago White Sox 9 TORONTO 5 ATLANTA 6 San Diego 1 CINCINNATI 6 NY Mets 1 KANSAS CITY 3 Oakland 2 ST. LOUIS 5 Arizona 2 LA ANGELS 8 Cleveland 4 REUTERS