Participation in the MLB Little League Classic offers the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians a moment in the spotlight amid their respective mediocre seasons.
The Indians will look to complete a three-game series sweep of the Angels on Sunday night in the game at Williamsport, Pa.
After the 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Angels and Indians will renew this tradition while continuing a set that began in Cleveland and is held against the backdrop of the Little League World Series in progress.
“Everyone’s really excited,” Angels catcher Max Stassi told MLB.com. “I just think about every guy that grew up in the U.S. on the team played Little League.
“My team, we never made it to the Little League World Series, so it’ll be cool to finally go.”
The Indians won the first two of this set at home by holding the Angels to seven combined hits and outscoring them 14-2. Cleveland has won four straight against the Angels this season, and 12 of the past 13 overall between the two clubs.
Cleveland’s Myles Straw and Amed Rosario have five hits apiece in the past two games. Rosario, meanwhile, is batting .378 during an eight-game hitting streak.
Scheduled Cleveland pitcher Cal Quantrill (3-2, 3.24 ERA) continues to fare well as a starter, going 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his past eight appearances. The right-hander, though, allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings of a 10-inning loss at Minnesota on Monday.
Now, he hopes to bounce back at home, where he’s 1-0 with a 1.44 ERA in his past four starts.
“(Monday was) the worst I’ve felt in a couple months now,” Quantrill told the Indians’ official website. “But, it’s part of the game. You’re not going to have you’re A-game every so often.”
This will be Quantrill’s first start against the Angels, whom he allowed a run and three hits to during a one-inning relief outing at Anaheim on May 17.
Quantrill has never faced Los Angeles’ Shohei Ohtani, who will no doubt be the star attraction in Williamsport on Sunday. However, Ohtani will look to bounce back after he struck out three times in four at-bats during the Angels’ 5-1 loss on Saturday. He’s also 1-for-8 in this series.
Los Angeles’ Jose Suarez (5-6, 3.88) will take the ball looking to avoid a third straight losing decision. Though the left-hander has a 6.12 ERA while losing four of his past five starts, he allowed only a first-inning two-run homer, three other hits and three walks — and struck out six — over five innings while going toe-to-toe with Gerrit Cole in a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday.
“You saw pretty much what (Suarez) is going to look like for many years to come,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of the outing.
Suarez’s only appearance against the Indians came in September 2019, when he gave up six runs in three innings of work in an 8-0 loss.
Los Angeles’ David Fletcher has recorded a hit in 11 of his past 12 road contests.
–Field Level Media