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CLEVELAND — Derek Lowe won for the first time in more than a month and the Cleveland Indians beat the Los Angeles Angels 12-3 Wednesday.
Lowe (8-6) gave up three runs and 11 hits in six innings for his first win in six starts since June 1. The 39-year-old right-hander was 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in five outings between victories.
Michael Brantley hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Ervin Santana (4-9) and Casey Kotchman had a three-run shot in a six-run second as Cleveland took a 9-1 lead.
Johnny Damon had a season-high three of Cleveland’s 14 hits. The Indians totaled 21 runs in two wins after being shut out 3-0 in the series opener.
Brantley connected with two outs in the first for his second homer, following two-out walks to Jason Kipnis and Travis Hafner.
The Angels loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but scored only once as third baseman Jack Hannahan helped Lowe get out of the jam.
Lowe threw a called third strike past Erick Aybar before Maicer Izturis grounded into a run-scoring forceout. With runners on first and third, Hannahan ranged behind the bag at third to get a grounder hit by Bobby Wilson. His long throw got the slow-running catcher by a step at first for the third out.
Cleveland made it 9-1 in the bottom half. Shin-Soo Choo had an RBI double and Asdrubal Cabrera a run-scoring groundout. First baseman Albert Pujols fielded Cabrera’s ball and was going to throw home, but dropped it and had to settle for picking it up and stepping on the bag for the out. Choo took third on the play and scored on Jason Kipnis’ single up the middle for a 6-1 lead.
Santana left after Travis Hafner singled Kipnis to second. The right-hander allowed eight runs and six hits over 1 1-3 innings and fell to 1-8 with a 5.03 ERA in 13 starts against Cleveland. The win was a no-hitter at Progessive Field last July 27.
Reliever Hisanori Takahashi came on and got one out before Kotchman hit a three-run homer to right.
Pujols had a strange series, though he went 3 for 9 with a homer in the three games.
He went 1 for 3 against Lowe, but was out trying to stretch a single to a double in the third, trailing by eight runs. He hustled of the batter’s box, but was out by yards at second on a throw from Johnny Damon — not known for a strong throwing arm.
Later, Pujols hit a fly ball that drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd. The ball died in the humid air and was caught by Damon on the warning track as Pujols stood with head cocked, hands on hips, staring in disbelief at the outfield.
Tuesday night, Pujols made a crucial throwing error that enabled two runs to score in the Angels’ 9-5 loss. And on Monday night, he over-ran second base on a wild pitch and was thrown out.
Lou Marson had an RBI single and Cabrera a run-scoring double in Cleveland’s three-run fifth off Jason Isringhausen.
Alberto Callaspo had a sacrifice fly and Maicer Izturis an RBI single in the Angels’ sixth to make it 12-3.
NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia pulled many of his regulars in the sixth amid mid-90s temperatures and high humidity. ... RHP Dan Haren will be examined by doctors Thursday in Los Angeles. After allowing seven runs in 4 1-3 innings Tuesday, he said his back has been bothering him all season. ... Angels OF Vernon Wells, out since having a torn right thumb ligament surgically repaired May 21 will begin hitting drills next week. ... The Indians placed OF Shelley Duncan on the paternity list. His wife is expecting twins. The roster move cleared room to activate Hafner from the disabled list. Hafner had right knee surgery May 31.