Chad Pinder took Mike Clevinger deep twice, driving in all three Oakland runs, and Sean Manaea kept the Cleveland offense in check in a 3-1 A’s victory over the Indians on Wednesday night.
Clevinger gave the Indians a quality effort on the mound, but his offense could not figure out the left-hander Manaea, who limited the Indians to just a run and three hits in a dominant effort on the mound.
The Cleveland right-hander, making his fifth start in May, looked good for the Indians early, setting down seven straight batters after a double by Matt Joyce started the ball game. But in his first at bat of the night, Pinder started his career game with a solo drive over the wall in left-center to give the A’s an early 1-0 lead in the third.
Clevinger retired all three outs in the fourth via strikeout, working around a one-out walk by Yonder Alonso, and his teammates picked him up with a run in the bottom of the frame when Francisco Lindor homered to left to end an 0-for-10 stretch for the club to start the game against Manaea. It was the 12th homer of the season for Lindor, who had 15 all of last season in his first full season in the Majors. It also marked the 16th consecutive game for the Indians with a homer, matching the season’s longest streak in the AL by the Minnesota Twins.
For those who believe in response runs, the A’s got exactly that just two batters into the next half inning. Clevinger walked the leadoff hitter of the inning, Trevor Plouffe, in a nine-pitch at bat to bring up Pinder for his second appearance against the Indians starter. After falling behind 0-2, he worked the count back to even before sending a mammoth drive to center for his second blast of the night. His two-run shot put the A’s up, 3-1, and that score would remain the rest of the ball game.
The Indians would get runners on the bases in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and ninth innings, but just twice got that runner into scoring position. Jose Ramirez was erased on a double play ball after his one-out walk in the fifth. Daniel Robertson was stranded at first by Manaea after a one-out single in the next inning. Edwin Encarnacion singled with two outs to extend his hitting streak to ten straight and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Manaea before the A’s starter came back to strike out Ramirez swinging. In the ninth against Santiago Casilla, Michael Brantley reached on an error in left by Khris Davis and pulled into second with two outs, but the tying run, Carlos Santana, flied to right to end the ball game.
Manaea improved to 4-3 with the win, while Clevinger took his second loss of the year. The save for Casilla was his eighth in ten chances.
The Indians managed just three hits on the night, with Lindor hitting his home run and Encarnacion and Robertson each singling. Ramirez drew a walk and was one of just four base runners on the night for the club against Manaea, who allowed all four over seven innings of one-run baseball while striking out nine. He got 19 swinging strikes from Indians hitters.
Clevinger again kept his walks to a minimum, giving up two in the game, but one of those came back to haunt him on the second of Pinder’s homers. The 25-year-old, who was hitting ninth in the A’s lineup, set career highs with his three hits, three RBI, and two homers in a game. Five of the rookie’s last eight hits have been for home runs.
Zach McAllister worked one and one-third innings in relief, giving up a hit while striking out three. Dan Otero pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out a batter and needing just nine pitches to complete the frame. Ryan Madson worked a scoreless eighth, striking out a batter and similarly needing just nine pitches to earn his seventh hold.
With a chance to reclaim first place from the Minnesota Twins, the Indians (27-24) fell to 12-3 against the AL West this season and concluded a rough month with a 13-14 record. The A’s (23-29) moved ahead of the Kansas City Royals for the worst record in the AL by one full game.
The Indians will welcome back right-hander Corey Kluber (3-2, 5.06 ERA) to the roster on Thursday to make his first start in nearly a month after missing time on the 10-day disabled list with a longer-than-hoped struggle with a lower back strain. He has not pitched since May 3 and will be making just his seventh start of the season. A corresponding roster move to create a spot for Kluber had not yet been announced.
The A’s will look to young right-hander Jharel Cotton (3-5, 5.56) to earn his team a split in the four-game set from Cleveland. He allowed just two hits in five and two-thirds innings his last time out, but gave up three runs to the New York Yankees and took the loss in his first game since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville.
First pitch from Progressive Field on an early getaway start Thursday is scheduled for 12:10 PM ET.
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