Oakland, CA – Amid controversy in the clubhouse, the A’s prevailed to snap a three-game losing streak.
Oakland scored five runs in one frame to dominate the Cleveland Indians 5-1 today and take the series. The Indians lead the American League Central and didn’t expect to struggle against an A’s team well under .500.
“Pretty amazing what we got against this team,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Not only do they have speed, a certain amount of power, they have a bunch of switch-hitters. It’s almost impossible to get your match-ups against these guys. For us to pitch as well as we did is pretty impressive.”
The A’s pitching was outstanding this series, Kendall Graveman took the mound today and tossed six solid innings. He allowed just one earned run over 6.2 innings to record his team-leading 10th win of the season. Graveman improved his record from 10-8 with a 3.97 ERA to 9-2 with 3.33 ERA.
Graveman’s first nine starts looked much different, he had a 1-6 record with a 5.36 ERA. He gave up six hits, one run, two walks and struck out two today. The Tribe’s lone run came in the seventh when Graveman surrendered a solo home run to Roberto Perez but the initial ruling was that he hit a double off the wall.
But after further review it was a home run off the stairs behind the wall that led to the ball bouncing back infield. Perez homer snapped Graveman’s 15-inning scoreless streak. Graveman gave up a single to Michael Martinez and walked Carlos Santana. The bullpen took over and kept Cleveland off the board for the win.
“Boy, hopefully we just have three days of amnesia,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “You’ve got to give them some credit. They did a number on us.”
Oakland took advantage of Trevor Bauer early in the second. They scored five runs for a lead that they maintained throughout the game thanks to great defense by the A’s. Khris Davis led off the frame with a double. Yonder Alonso was issued a free pass to put two on with no outs. Ron Healy’s RBI single scored in Davis for a 1-0 lead.
Max Muncy singled and drove in Alonso. Chad Pinder was out on a sacrifice fly and Oakland added another run making it a 3-0 game. Another single by Jake Smolinski and a wild pitch moved him to second and Danny Valencia reached first on a fielding error scoring in both Muncy and Smolinski to extend the A’s lead 5-0.
“I thought I was out of it. I tried to minimize, and it didn’t work out,” Bauer said. “So, I tried to keep going out there and keep throwing innings after that. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to come back today. We’ve [come back] a lot lately.”
Santana was charged with the error after allowing Valencia’s fly ball to drop behind him at first base scoring in the final two runs that inning. Both runs were unearned and a huge advantage for Oakland who already had a 3-0 lead. Bauer allowed three earned runs over 6.2 innings and was charged with the loss in today’s rubber match of the series.
“They pitched us tough,” said Mike Napoli. “We just couldn’t get it going. We’ve been on a good streak of getting a little rally going and scoring runs. It’s just one of those days. They flat-out beat us. We had some good pitching. We just couldn’t get anything going.”