Pestano returns home to Southern California

Pestano returns home to Southern California

ANAHEIM -- For Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano, a native of nearby Newport Beach, Cleveland's trips to Anaheim can be a little crazy.

"It's always fun coming back home," Pestano said. "But it's always hectic with family and friends. ... Last year I had everybody here one game. But I've gotten a little smarter this year, I'm spreading them out over the course of the series this time."

Pestano was born in Huntington Beach, attended Canyon High School in Anaheim and played his college ball at Cal State Fullerton, 15 minutes from Angel Stadium. While he says he wasn't a fan of any team in particular growing up, he did come to a lot of Angels games, something that adds even more to the experience of pitching in Anaheim.

"I always enjoyed watching games here," Pestano said. "To be able to pitch on the mound where I used to watch games ... it's pretty special."

Making this particular homecoming all the more meaningful is the fact that Pestano has not allowed a run in 21 consecutive innings, the longest streak by a Cleveland pitcher this season and the longest by an Indians reliever since 1997. His 31 holds coming into Monday were tied with Rafael Betancourt for the Indians' single-season mark.

Pestano says his success is a product of lessons learned last season during his rookie campaign.

"Last year, I wanted to prove to myself that I deserved to be there. I really wanted to attack guys with my fastball so that if I did get them out, they didn't go back to the dugout feeling like they got cheated," Pestano said. "This year I've been a lot smarter with throwing my offspeed in counts where I need to, getting ahead and keeping guys off balance."