Athletics shut out Indians again 7-0
August 29, 2012
CLEVELAND (AP) – Tommy Milone and the entire Oakland pitching staff have plenty of nothing as far as the Cleveland Indians are concerned.
The Athletics continued to pile up zeroes as Milone and three relievers shut out Cleveland for the third straight time, beating the Indians 7-0 on Tuesday night.
“Just par for the course. Our guys are unbelievable,” said Oakland rookie Brandon Moss, who homered and drove in three runs as the Athletics won their fourth straight to remain tied with Baltimore for the AL wild-card lead.
Moss and Chris Carter homered off Zach McAllister (5-5) as Oakland moved to 5-0 this month against Cleveland with its 10th win in 12 games since dropping eight of 13.
“Another strong pitching performance and you can always live with that,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said.
Milone (11-9) worked six innings. Jerry Blevins, Pat Neshek and Evan Scribner completed the eight-hitter.
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Oakland is 14 games over .500 (71-57) for the first time since finishing 2006 at 93-69 and has the best overall record since the start of July at 34-15.
The Indians have lost 12 of 13, are 5-25 since July 27, and scoreless in 45 of their last 48 innings overall.
“A loss is a loss,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “Every single one of them hurts. We couldn’t execute at all.”
Oakland has outscored the Indians 17-0 in their last three meetings. It started with a 7-0 home win Aug. 19 behind Jarrod Parker’s eight strong innings. Brett Anderson worked seven innings in a 3-0 win on Monday.
“I think it is more about us being in a good stretch,” Melvin said. “They have a lot of guys in their lineup that get your attention.”
It is the first time in 23 years that Cleveland has been blanked three straight times by a team. Oakland did it in June 1989.
Cleveland’s offensive futility was on full display in the fourth, when the Indians put runners on second and third with no outs. Milone struck out Casey Kotchman and Jason Donald. Third baseman Josh Donaldson then made a barehanded scoop and throw on a slow roller to retire Jason Kipnis at first to keep the shutout intact.
“Tommy did his best work with runners on base that inning,” Melvin said.
“I didn’t have my best stuff, but was able to get through it,” the left-hander said. “They got those guys on, I took a deep breath and was able to make some pitches. You do that, it puts a fire under you.”
McAllister struck out the side in the first, then yielded four singles to fall behind 2-0 in the second. Moss had Oakland’s third straight hit to make it 1-0. Adam Rosales added a two-out RBI single.
Moss made it 4-0 in the third by hitting a 3-2 pitch for his 14th homer. It came one out after Seth Smith doubled.
Carter homered to open the fifth for a 5-0 lead. It was his 12th homer in 46 games since being recalled from the minors.
“They’ve done a tremendous job since coming up at almost the same time,” Milone said of the duo who often share time at first base. Moss played left field in place of Coco Crisp, who fouled a ball off his right foot Monday.
Carter had an RBI double in the ninth off reliever Joe Smith, who allowed another run on a wild pitch.
McAllister struck out a career-high eight over only 4 1-3 innings. The right-hander gave up nine hits and five runs to drop to 1-3 in six starts in August. He had not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his previous nine starts at Progressive Field.
Indians reliever Esmil Rogers struck out the side in the eighth and Carlos Santana dropped each third strike, throwing to first baseman Kotchman for the putout. Santana also had to throw to first to complete two of McAllister’s strikeouts.
NOTES: Oakland has won six straight from Cleveland for the first time since taking eight in a row from the Indians in 1998. … One day after leaving a start with a sprained ankle, Indians RHP Roberto Hernandez threw in the outfield. The Indians still are not sure if Hernandez will miss his next scheduled start. … X-rays on Crisp’s foot were negative and he is day-to-day. … Melvin moved SS Stephen Drew from second to Crisp’s leadoff spot and RF Josh Reddick from sixth to second while Yoenis Cespedes shifted from left field to center. … Oakland RHP A.J. Griffin (shoulder) allowed one run in five innings in his second rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento on Monday. … Indians RF Shin-Soo Choo broke an 0-for-13 slide with a third-inning single. … Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera singled in the seventh and is in a 4-for-35 (.114) slump.