It comes as no surprise when Mike Trout is on a tear at the plate, and he's on one right now. The Angels center fielder is batting .410 (34-for-83) since May 20 and extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 3-for-5, four-RBI, two-homer performance in Tuesday's 9-3 Halos win over the Indians at Progressive Field.
Things won't get any easier for the Tribe when it comes to handling Trout on Wednesday, either; he's 4-for-8 with a triple and three RBIs against starter Justin Masterson.
Cleveland's ace posted the second-shortest start of his career in his last outing, giving up five runs on three hits while walking four in two innings against the Red Sox, inflating his ERA to 5.05 on the season. He threw only 28 of his 59 pitches for strikes.
"It's been an interesting season for me," said Masterson, who posted a 3.45 ERA and three shutouts in 2013. "I threw too many balls [in my last start]. That's more or less what happened."
The good news for the right-hander is that he's facing a team against which he's had success in his career. In 13 career appearances (10 starts) against the Angels, Masterson is 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA.
The Angels will send left-hander C.J. Wilson to oppose Masterson. The last time Wilson saw the Indians, he dominated them to the tune of one run on two hits over eight innings in an April 30 win. The southpaw has had a rough June so far, seeing his ERA jump from 3.05 to 3.50 after going 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA (10 earned runs in 16 innings) in three starts this month.
After his last outing, there was no solace for Wilson in the fact that he gave up all four runs the Braves would score in the game in the first inning.
"It's not satisfying at all -- you lost," Wilson said. "It [stinks]. You give up four runs. You make a really good game plan. You spend the four or five days planning out the pitches you're going to throw and you make a couple of mistakes and give up back-to-back homers in the first. There's nothing good about that."
Angels: Trout picking his spots to steal bases
Trout has been hitting the way we've all become accustomed to seeing him hit, but he's not stealing as many bases given his great speed. He explained on Tuesday why he has nine stolen bases this season when he had 14 at this time last year and 28 at this point in 2012.
"Every chance I get to go, I'm going to go," Trout said. "But I'm not going to run into outs … I have to choose my spots for sure."
"With Mike, you want to open him up a little bit when he gets the opportunity," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But I don't know if I can count on one hand the times he's been on first base and a pitcher has been over 1.2 seconds to the plate. That's what we're running into, so you really need to pick your spots."
Indians: Brantley to undergo more tests
Outfielder Michael Brantley was a late scratch from the lineup before Tuesday's game against the Angels due to concussion-like symptoms.
Brantley, who was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .538 over his previous seven games, collided with Angels shortstop John McDonald while sliding into second base during the third inning of Monday's series opener. He stayed in the game until the fifth, when he was replaced in left field by Mike Aviles.
Manager Terry Francona said Brantley would undergo further tests as a precaution after having passed preliminary concussion tests on Monday.
"You have a head injury and you play and something happens, you're talking about something pretty serious," Francona said. "We're going to err on the side of caution."
Brantley is hitting .323 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs, and he is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. As of the latest All-Star balloting update, he had the seventh-most votes among AL outfielders.
• The Tribe's 9-3 loss on Tuesday snapped a 10-game home winning streak.
• Indians catcher/first baseman/third baseman Carlos Santana is batting .333 (14-for-42) with five extra-base hits (two doubles, three home runs) and 10 RBIs in 12 games since returning from MLB's 7-day concussion list.
Prior to sustaining a concussion when he took a foul tip off his catcher's mask on May 25 against the Orioles in Baltimore, Santana was hitting .159 for the season.
• With their win on Tuesday, the Angels have won four of the five games they've played against the Indians this season.
• Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton is 10-for-17 (.588) with two doubles, two homers and five RBIs against Masterson in his career.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.