Game #128: Oakland Athletics (69-57) at Cleveland Indians (55-72)
By Mike Brandyberry
Sunday the Indians had a chance to win their first series since late July, but the offense couldn’t find a spark, despite a well-pitched game by Ubaldo Jimenez. The Tribe could only muster a two-out, two-run single from Carlos Santana in their 4-2 loss to the Yankees.
Rain seems to be following the Oakland Athletics wherever they go. Oakland had their three game series sped up this weekend so that the Tampa could prepare for the Republican National Convention this week. A hurricane is also scheduled to hit the Sunshine State in the next day. The Athletics, who have been in Cleveland since Sunday morning, have watched it rain all day. The Athletics will hope to get the game in through the dreary skies and humidity in Cleveland, so that they do not fall behind in the Wild Card standings. Oakland is currently tied with Baltimore for the final playoff spot.
If the skies cooperate with the Athletics and Indians, they’ll embark on a four game series tonight. Cleveland will send Roberto Hernandez (0-2, 6.75 ERA) to the mound for his third start of the season. Hernandez is still trying to find his location and consistency after missing most of the season with visa issues. He suffered the loss in his last start, a six inning, three hit, four run effort on 72 pitches in a 5-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Roberto had a tough task in only his second out, taking on the Mariners Felix Hernandez, fresh off a perfect game.
Oakland counters with Brett Anderson (1-0, 1.29 ERA) against the ailing Indian offense. The left-hander made his first start of the season, beating the Minnesota Twins 4-1 last Tuesday. He pitched seven innings, allowing four hits, one run, walking none and striking out six. Tonight marks his second start since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery. Anderson is 1-0, with a 1.29 in three career outings against the Indians.
Cleveland remains a league-low 14-27 against lefty starters, thus the reason for a very right-handed lineup this evening. Asdrubal Cabrera receives a night off and Matt LaPorta will have another chance to prove himself and validate a role with the ballclub. Michael Brantley, one of only three lefties in the lineup, is 3-for-7 lifetime against Anderson.
The Tribe will try to get an early win in the four game series this evening. If the rain leaves the area, game time is slated for 7:05 pm from Progressive Field. The game can be seen on SportsTime Ohio and heard on the Indians Radio Network.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Jason Donald, 3B
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, DH
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Shelley Duncan, LF
7. Brent Lillibridge, SS
8. Matt LaPorta, 1B
9. Lou Marson, C
Oakland Athletics Starting Lineup
1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Stephen Drew, SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
4. Seth Smith, DH
5. Chris Carter, 1B
6. Josh Reddick, RF
7. Josh Donaldson, 3B
8. Derek Norris, C
9. Cliff Pennington, SS
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images