The Indians again fell to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, as Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss led the A’s in delivering all six of the hits that gave the Athletics the 6-2 winning score. Despite making it a one-run ballgame in sixth inning, the poor defense and three errors committed by the team allowed the game to slip away from the Tribe late in the game.
Saturday night’s game paired Josh Tomlin against former Indian Scott Kazmir, who suffered a surprisingly short outing upon being ejected from the game in the second inning.
The first inning remained scoreless for both teams, though Tomlin gave up one hit to Donaldson. Michael Brantley got on base for the Tribe in the bottom of the inning on a walk, though he was unable to advance when Carlos Santana struck out swinging to end the inning.
Derek Norris doubled for the A’s in the top of the second with two outs, though was stranded on base when Josh Reddick grounded out. The second inning put the Indians on the board, as Asdrubal Cabrera walked and made it to third on a double from Yan Gomes. Cabrera then scored on a wild pitch by Kazmir with Jesus Aguilar at the plate. Kazmir was then thrown out of the game following a walk issued to Aguilar. After Kazmir exchanged some choice words with home plate umpire Jerry Layne, he was ejected and replaced by Dan Otero.
Tomlin notched his first strike out of the game in the third inning, as John Jaso struck out swinging. The A’s countered the Indians’ score with their own runs in the third, as Coco Crisp doubled and scored on a line drive from Donaldson. Moss then homered to score himself and Donaldson, giving Oakland a 3-1 lead.
The A’s went down in order in the fourth inning, with Tomlin striking out Reddick for his second strikeout of the game. Despite Ryan Raburn’s single in the bottom of the fourth and advance to third on a throwing error by Donaldson, the Indians could not retaliate to add to their score.
The A’s were retired in order again in the top of the fifth, while the Indians again attempted to close in on Oakland’s lead. With one out, Mike Aviles singled and advanced to second on a single by Michael Bourn. For the third time of the night, the Indians hit into an inning-ending double play, as Nick Swisher hit a grounder to Otero to retire the Tribe.
Fernando Abad replaced Otero in the bottom of the sixth, giving up singles to Brantley and Santana to start the half. Raburn hit a ground out to Donaldson that sent advanced Brantley and Santana. Brantley would then score on a sacrifice fly from Cabrera, giving the Indians a 3-2 score trailing Oakland. Gomes lined out to Donaldson to end the inning.
Marc Rzepczynski replaced Tomlin in the seventh inning, giving up a single to Nick Punto. Crisp made it to first on a missed catch error by Aguilar, and Callaspo walked to load the bases. Bryan Shaw replaced Rzepczynski and gave up a hit to Donaldson that scored Punto, Crisp, and Callaspo. The hit, originally called a triple, was challenged and argued to be a home run as it hit off the top of the wall in center field. However, the call was held and Donaldson remained at third. Immediately following the ruling, Moss doubled to score Donaldson and give Oakland a 6-2 lead over Cleveland. The Tribe was retired in order to end the inning and move into the eighth inning with Oakland still ahead 6-2.
John Axford pitched the eighth inning for the Tribe, which had the A’s go down 1-2-3, as the Indians also did in the bottom of the inning. The game went into the ninth with Oakland still ahead 6-2.
T.J. House, recently promoted from Columbus, made his Major League debut in the ninth inning, when Oakland was retired without increasing their lead. Sean Doolittle closed the game for the A’s, not allowing any further hits or runs from the Indians.
Otero was named the winning pitcher, now posting a 4-0 record, while Tomlin was handed his first loss of the season and is now 2-1 on the season. Oakland boosted their record to 27-16, while the Indians fell to 19-24.
The Indians will look to avoid a sweep tomorrow during the final game in their series against Oakland at 1:05. The game will match RHP Justin Masterson (2-2, 4.31) against RHP Jesse Chavez (3-1, 2.44).
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images