All that stood between Matt Shoemaker and his first-ever complete game was a little rain.
The rookie achieved career highs in inning pitched (eight) and strikeouts (10) in the Los Angeles Angels’ 9-3 win over Cleveland Tuesday night, snapping the team’s two-game skid. Shoemaker (4-1) remains unbeaten as a starter.
Shoemaker’s mistakes were few and far between. He scattered two runs- one coming on Lonnie Chisenhall’s solo home run- on five hits, needing only 94 pitches. The right-hander was ready for the ninth, but sporadic showers prompted home plate umpire Marty Foster to stop play; the delay lasted less than 15 minutes.
In a post-game interview on Fox Sport West, Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia said Shoemaker’s pitch count wasn’t a factor in deciding to pull him in favor of Ernesto Frieri. “Once the rain came and the tarp was on, even if it was only going to take 10 minutes, it’s better to just not let Matt have to go out there and try to restart anything,” Scioscia said.
A night after going 2-for-8 with two strikeouts, Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout combined for seven hits, five runs, and six RBIs. Trout tallied three hits for the third time in four nights in addition to his first two-homer game since Aug. 30, 2011.
The first came in the fifth inning off Indians starter Josh Tomlin. After Calhoun’s single drove in David Freese and moved Raul Ibanez to third, Trout drove Tomlin’s (4-4) eighth pitch over the right field wall. He put the nail in the coffin two innings later, smashing Mark Lowe’s fastball over the 19-foot left-center field wall. Trout extends his hitting streak to 12, dating back to June 5.
Lost in Shoemaker and Trout’s night are Calhoun and Howie Kendrick’s contributions. Calhoun’s second-career four-hit game lifts his batting average to .276. Kendrick, meanwhile, got his first home run since May 30 in Oakland.