Gonzalez Stifles Tribe Again; Athletics 7, Indians 0
By Craig Gifford
A mystery, an enigma, a puzzle. Whatever you want to call him, the Cleveland Indians have not been able to figure out Oakland A’s starter Gio Gonzalez. It was no different Thursday afternoon as Gonzalez kept the Tribe off the scoreboard for seven innings as Oakland went on to beat Cleveland 7-0 at Progressive Field.
Cleveland, which dropped to 68-66, missed on opportunity to pull a game closer to first-place Detroit. The Tigers lost 11-8 to Kansas City, Thursday. The Indians remained 5.5 game back in the Central Division.
Entering the game, the Indians had faced Gonzalez five times. In those outings, Gonzalez was 4-0 with a 0.89 ERA. It was more of the same Thursday as the Tribe collected just five hits, all singles. Ten Indians hitters went down on strikes, seven of them against Gonzalez.
The batting didn’t get any better when Craig Breslow came on in relief in the eighth inning. Breslow allowed one hit over his two frames.
On the other side, Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona and a pair of rookies making their debuts could not keep a usually weak-hitting Oakland lineup from lighting up the scoreboard. The A’s didn’t overpower anything, but had a fine 12 hits, 11 singles, as they pieced together three innings with crooked numbers.
For Carmona, it was smooth sailing until the fifth inning. After keeping Oakland at bay for the first four stanzas, Carmona got in trouble in the fifth, surrendering Oakland’s first two runs. Carmona settled back down in the sixth, but gave up a pair of runs in the seventh before recording an out. It was then time to make way for the rookie brigade. Overall, Carmona allowed four runs, three earned, and saw his record drop to 6-13.
Nick Hagadone, part of the Victor Martinez trade in 2009, came on in relief. His first major league appearance was one he might like to soon forget. He was charged with three earned runs in 1.2 innings. He left sporting an inflated 16.20 ERA. Corey Kluber was up next. He left his first big league game with a 0.00 ERA as he did not allow an earned run.
Despite the loss, the Tribe’s four-game set with Oakland was positive. They took three of the four to finish their longest homestand of the season at 6-5.
Cleveland will now hit the road for a weekend series in Kansas City where they will hope to continue their surge of the past week. They took two of three games this past weekend against the Royals and have won five of their last seven, overall.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images