Five-Run Second Too Much for Tribe to Overcome in Oakland; A’s 5, Indians 1
Bob Toth | On 24, Aug 2016
There was no sewage backup this week at Oakland Coliseum, but there was a lot of stink coming from the Cleveland Indians offense. Production was at a minimum again on Wednesday as the Athletics claimed a 5-1 win to clinch the series.
In a three-game set with Oakland, Cleveland managed just solo home runs in each contest to account for its scoring. The A’s didn’t necessarily dominate in taking two of three, but they made use of the big innings in each of the final two games after being shut out in the opener by Carlos Carrasco and Andrew Miller.
Trevor Bauer was tasked with the job of containing Oakland on Wednesday and he did for all but one inning of his start. That inning and its 40+ pitches, however, proved to be the difference in the game.
Khris Davis emerged from his mini strikeout slump on Tuesday and kept going on Wednesday, tripling to lead off the inning on a bad play in right by Lonnie Chisenhall. Yonder Alonso walked and Ryon Healy singled to center to give the A’s a 1-0 lead. Brett Eibner grounded out before Max Muncy singled to center, knocking in Alonso. Chad Pinder lifted a sacrifice fly to right that made it 3-0. Jake Smolinski followed with a single to right to put runners on the corners and a wild pitch allowed Smolinski to move into scoring position. Danny Valencia popped up towards first, but a back-peddling Carlos Santana whiffed on the catch, allowed both runners to score easily on what should have been the inning ending out. The ninth man to bat, Stephen Vogt, struck out swinging in a long at bat to mercifully end the inning.
The A’s would put two more on in the third, one in the fourth, and one more in the sixth against Bauer, but would not touch home. Bauer left after giving up a pair of singles in the seventh, but erased the first one on a double play ball. Jeff Manship loaded the bases after a single and a walk, but got a pop up to short to avoid any damage.
The Indians offense could not come through against Oakland starter Kendall Graveman, who danced around trouble through the first five innings, when Cleveland had base runners but wasted all opportunities. He set them down in order in the sixth, but with two outs in the top of the seventh, he allowed his first run of the game to Roberto Perez, who had his single to right overturned for a home run to make it a 5-1 contest. For the first time all game, he allowed consecutive hits as Michael Martinez followed with a single and a walk to Santana ended Graveman’s afternoon, but Marc Rzepczynski retired Jason Kipnis on a liner to first to end the inning.
Cleveland would manage just three more hits the rest of the way, as Chisenhall doubled with two outs in the eighth but was stranded, Tyler Naquin singled to lead off the ninth but was doubled up on a twin killing groundout by pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte, and Francisco Lindor delivered a two-out pinch-hit single before Santana struck out swinging against Ryan Madson to end it.
The Indians (72-53) suffered a power outage after their long flight. They are now just three games over the even mark on the road at 33-30. Their lead in the AL Central has now fallen to just six games over Detroit, who was playing a late game on Wednesday night. The A’s (55-72) earned win number 30 at home this season and have now won two games in a row with an off-day scheduled for Thursday.
BAUER OVERCOMES BAD INNING
After the lengthy and damaging second inning, it was amazing and almost miraculous that Bauer (9-6, 3.88 ERA) was able to stay in the game deep into the seventh inning.
He worked six and two-thirds innings and was charged with five runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Just three of the runs were earned after the official scorer corrected the egregious single that was given on the pop up that Santana misplayed into two runs in the second.
Graveman (10-8, 3.97) took a lesson out of pitching 101 – get ahead in the count. He did so to 26 of the 28 batters he faced over six and two-thirds innings, yet Indians batters continued to take first pitches while showing far less aggressiveness than Graveman was showing on the mound.
He allowed six hits, walked two batters, and gave up just the one run on the solo homer by Perez. He struck out two as he marched through the Indians lineup and refused to let them reach third base. Just one Tribe player touched third – Perez on his delayed trot around the bases.
WHERE DID THE O GO?
The Indians managed single runs in all three games of the series, with each notch on the scoreboard coming via solo home run. Santana delivered the go-ahead shot in Monday’s win, with Chris Gimenez hitting a solo shot on Tuesday and Perez doing likewise on Wednesday.
“Hopefully we just had like three days of amnesia,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “Those things happen. Not fun when it does but it happens. They did a number on us.”
HEALY EXTENDS STREAK
Rookie Healy extended his hitting streak to eleven games with an RBI-single in the second inning.
SEMIEN TO PATERNITY LIST
TIME TO GET OUT OF CALI
With their road trip off to a bit of an undesirable start, the Indians will travel deep into the heart of Texas, where they will face the Rangers for the next four games.
Josh Tomlin (11-7, 4.39) returns to his home state and will start the opener for the Indians. The Rangers will counter with Cole Hamels (13-4, 2.80). Tomlin will look to play the stopper to his own personal four-game losing streak.
First pitch of game one of the four-game set is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET on Thursday.
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images