CLEVELAND -- William McGuire's outing on Sunday afternoon wasn't quite what manager Mike Scioscia had in mind.
Scioscia said before the game that he had seen good things from McGuire, the former first-round Draft pick who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake Sunday morning to start after Tyler Skaggs was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left adductor strain.
McGuire, however, was unable to find his command or escape the first inning, while the American League Central-leading Indians (61-49) scored three runs off him and beat the Angels (55-58) in a rubber match, 4-3, at Progressive Field.
"He had a little bit of a problem finding his release point and making some pitches," Scioscia said of McGuire. "He was behind guys and had a rough first inning."
McGuire's command issues also led to easy contact for the Tribe, who sent nine men to the plate in the first. The right-hander allowed the first six batters to reach, including a Francisco Lindor single and a Michael Brantley double, which set the table for a three-run homer for Jose Ramirez. The Indians third baseman has 33 on the year, which ties Boston's J.D. Martinez for the Major League lead.
"I threw a fastball down the middle," McGuire said. "A really good hitter put a really good swing on it. It's not the way you want to start a game."
After the Ramirez long ball, McGuire hit Edwin Encarnacion and surrendered a single to Yonder Alonso before striking out Melky Cabrera. McGuire also hit Jason Kipnis before being pulled for Taylor Cole.
All three runs allowed by McGuire were earned. He threw only 25 pitches -- 13 called for strikes, and he lasted one-third of an inning, marking his shortest start in professional baseball since May 11, 2011, when he gave up five runs in one-third of an inning with the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate.
"I just wasn't in the zone early enough in counts," McGuire said. "I felt like I made a few good pitches to get back into counts but couldn't finish anybody off. I made one really bad pitch and got beat by it."
Trailing 3-0, Scioscia pulled the plug on McGuire to give way to Cole and Jose Alvarez, who combined for five scoreless innings to keep the game within reach until the seventh. Cole, who was recalled from Salt Lake on Friday, finished the first and totaled 3 2/3 frames, allowing a hit, a walk and recording three strikeouts. Alvarez collected a strikeout and a walk over 1 1/3 innings, and he faced the minimum after inducing a double play.
"That's what these guys have been doing all year," McGuire said of the bullpen. "I can't say enough about Taylor Cole, who got thrown into that spot in the first inning and what he did after that, too. He's a really good pitcher and a really good arm, and all the guys who threw after me did a really exciting job."
The Angels scored two runs in the fifth off Indians rookie Shane Bieber (6-2), who spread seven hits over 5 2/3 innings and struck out seven. Jose Briceno singled with one out and scored one batter later on a Kole Calhoun triple hit off the top of the left-center-field wall. The left-handed-hitting Shohei Ohtani brought in Calhoun with a sharp opposite-field single to cap a 2-for-4 showing.
"I don't think I did enough with the first seven hitters to show that I deserved to stay out there," McGuire said. "Obviously, I felt really bad putting the team in that spot form the first inning to play catch-up all game. But I can't say enough about the guys who came up after me who put up a bunch of zeros."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Cutting it close: The Halos tacked on another run in the ninth off closer Brad Hand. Justin Upton pinch-hit for Eric Young and reached on a fielder's choice. Upton advanced to second on a wild pitch and made it to third on a groundout before scoring on an infield single by Andrelton Simmons.
"You saw there were a lot of guys out, but ... the guys that were in there played hard, and I thought we hit the ball harder than they did," Scioscia said. "I just thought we couldn't get that extra hit with guys in scoring position.
"The fact that we got that many guys and put that much pressure on them was good. There was especially a lot of younger guys in there who we just had some opportunities to get back early in the game and couldn't do it."
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Following the Indians' three-run first inning, the Tribe scratched across another run in the second, but it was later taken off the board after a review. Lindor, who led off the frame with a double, advanced to third one batter later on a groundout from Brantley. Cole then walked Ramirez, who was doubled up by Young. after trying to retreat back to first on an Encarnacion flyout.
The initial ruling on the field was that Lindor scored before Ramirez was called out. The Angels challenged, however, and the call was overturned in between innings.
Right-hander Nick Tropeano (4-6, 4.94 ERA) will get the nod as the Halos welcome in the Tigers for a three-game series. Tropeano picked up the win in the Angels' 9-2 win over Detroit on May 29 at Comerica Park after going 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and two runs while striking out five. Left-hander Matthew Boyd will start for the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. PT.