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Angels' Nolasco looks for first career win vs. Indians

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ricky Nolasco will take the mound for the Los Angeles Angels against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night, his name among those in various "American League leaders" categories.

However, they are not in the categories in which Nolasco or the Angels would like to see him included.

His 14 losses are surpassed by only Boston's Rick Porcello (17). His 34 home runs allowed are surpassed only by Porcello (35) and Seattle's Ariel Miranda (35). He is seventh in hits allowed (186) and sixth in earned runs allowed (94).

After nearly every start, Nolasco seems to sing the same tune.

"It's baseball," he told MLB.com. "At the end of the day, I just do what I can do: Eat up innings and give us a chance to win, just keep grinding."

Nolasco finally seemed to at least give his team a chance in his most recent game. He threw a quality start (two runs in six innings) against the Houston Astros on Thursday, though Nolasco and the Angels eventually lost the game.

It ended a streak of seven consecutive starts in which Nolasco failed to give the Angels a quality start going back to Aug. 1.

Nolasco (6-14, 5.11 ERA) pitched fairly well in his only start against the Indians this season, giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings of what became a 10-4 loss on July 26. For his career, he is 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) against Cleveland.

Jason Kipnis (5-for-15, two homers, six RBI) and Jose Ramirez (4-for-12, one homer, three RBI) have hit Nolasco well.

Nolasco will be matched up against Indians starter Josh Tomlin, who has had trouble pitching deep into games lately. He failed to go six innings in each of his past four starts. However, he has held the opposition to two runs or fewer in each of those four starts. He has never pitched against the Angels.

Tomlin (9-9, 5.04 ERA) has been trying to get his legs back under him after missing all of August with a strained left hamstring.

Though the Indians have already clinched the American League Central title, thanks in large part to their 22-game winning streak, they certainly want to stay on a roll as they can going into the postseason. Cleveland made another step in the right direction Tuesday, beating the Angels 6-3 in the series opener for their third win a row since the streak-ending defeat.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor has been as hot as any Indians hitter. He set an Indians record with at least one extra-base hit in 10 consecutive games, the streak ending Sunday. During the streak, Lindor batted .463 with four homers, six doubles and two triples.

"He's using the whole field," Francona said. "And he's strong enough, and he's got probably 1,500 at-bats under his belt (in his career), He knows the league and he understands situations more. That comes with experience. So he's still every bit as dangerous. He just also is finding his hits, spraying the ball around."

Lindor, still only 23, has 30 homers, 40 doubles and four triples this season.

"He's got a ton of tools, which everybody sees," Francona said. "And he's a really hard worker, and he's a smart kid. That's kind of why a couple years ago, we were so excited about him getting here. He's one of the better players around. So many different ways he can impact a game."

Lindor has hit the Angels well in his career, batting .355 (22-for-62) in 17 career games despite going 0-for-4 on Tuesday.