Game #131: Oakland Athletics (72-57) at Cleveland Indians (55-75)
By Mike Brandyberry
Last night the Indians were able to take an early 2-0 lead behind a Jason Donald home run and Ezequiel Carrera triple, however, Corey Kluber could not hold it very long—allowing three runs in the next frame—and the Oakland Athletics were able to defeat the Tribe, 8-4.
The Oakland victory gives them sole possession of the top wild card spot and leaves them only four and one-half games behind the division leading Texas Rangers. What was supposed to be a year dedicated to development and youth, has turned to a season of pennant fever for the Athletics.
This afternoon the Athletics will try to sweep their first four game set against the Tribe since August 2002, when the Moneyball A’s were at their height. The newest chapter of baseball economics turned playoff contenders will send Jarrod Parker (8-7, 3.52 ERA) to the mound. Cleveland will finally see a right-hander in the series, but Parker has already demonstrated success against the Tribe. In Oakland on August 19, Parker allowed six hits and one walk over eight innings when he defeated the Indians 7-0.
Parker’s 7-0 win was against the Tribe’s right-hander, and proclaimed, ace of the staff Justin Masterson (10-11, 4.60 ERA). The last time Cleveland won was when the sidewinder beat the New York Yankees last Saturday night. Masterson pitched six and two-third innings, while only allowing one run and working out of several jams. The start before, however, was when the Athletics took advantage of him, posting the 7-0 victory.
Cleveland has tried nearly everything to pull out of their funk that now has them 5-26 since July 26. Yesterday the team turned batting practice into a game, with the losing team having to pick up the balls in the outfield. While it did not garner a victory, the Tribe was able to muster some offense for the first time in two days.
There is no television for this afternoon’s 12:05 start at Progressive Field. The game can be heard on WTAM-1100 AM and the entire Indians Radio Network.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Michael Brantley, CF
5. Carlos Santana, DH
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Ezequiel Carrera, LF
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Lou Marson, C
Oakland Athletics Starting Lineup
1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Stephen Drew, SS
3. Josh Reddick, RF
4. Yoenis Cespedes, DH
5. Seth Smith, LF
6. Brandon Moss, 1B
7. Josh Donaldson, 3B
8. George Kottaras, C
9. Cliff Pennington, 2B
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images