Indians beat A's day after controversy

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 09, 2013
Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds hit indisputable home runs and Scott Kazmir struck out 10 in six innings, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 9-2 win over Oakland on Thursday and a four-game sweep of the Athletics. The Indians ended the series with a convincing blowout, one day after they won 4-3 with the help of a blown call in the ninth inning when umpires, after watching a video replay, ruled that an apparent tying home run by Oakland's Adam Rosales was a double. Major League Baseball acknowledged the umpires made an ''improper call,'' but executive vice president Joe Torre said the decision is final. Kipnis hit a two-run homer in the first off Bartolo Colon (3-2) for the Indians, who won for the 10th time in 11 games and improved to 13-4 since April 20. Kazmir (2-1) allowed one run and five hits and has won consecutive starts for the first time since 2010. Josh Donaldson homered for the A's, who fell to .500 for the first time since April 4 when they were 2-2. Oakland is just 6-14 after starting 12-4. The Indians were already leading by six runs when MLB released a statement indicating umpire Angel Hernandez and his crew had erred Wednesday night. After watching a video replay, they failed to reverse a call and gave Rosales a double instead of a homer. TV replays showed Rosales' shot off Chris Perez had easily cleared the 19-foot-high wall. ''Given what we saw, we recognize that an improper call was made,'' Torre said. ''Perfection is an impossible standard in any endeavor, but our goal is always to get the calls right. Earlier this morning, we began the process of speaking with the crew to thoroughly review all the circumstances surrounding last night's decision.'' MLB director of umpires Randy Marsh was sent to Progressive Field for the series finale to inspect the video replay equipment. Marsh did not find any problems and reported his findings to Torre. The Indians, who came in leading the AL in homers, took a 2-0 lead in the first on Kipnis' fourth homer, a two-run shot. Michael Brantley singled to open the first off Colon and Kipnis followed by belting a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall, not far from where Rosales' contested double landed. Kipnis added a sacrifice fly in the second, when the Indians tacked on three runs to open a 5-0 lead. Swisher led off the third by pulling Colon's first pitch over the wall in right for his fifth homer and second in two days. Swisher, who played college ball at Ohio State, was typically animated after rounding the bases. He bashed forearms with Jason Giambi and raised arms to give the ''O-H'' gesture to Cleveland fans. The Indians added three runs in the fifth, two coming on Reynolds' AL-leading 11th homer. Colon gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings. The right-hander, who pitched for the Indians from 1997 to 2002, hadn't faced Cleveland since 2005. Before the game, Wednesday night's stunning events dominated the chatter in both clubhouses, with several players weighing in on instant replay. Perez felt fortunate the Indians had gotten a favorable call, but he doesn't think baseball should broaden its replay system. ''I don't think it needs to be expanded,'' he said. ''I like where it's at on home runs and boundary calls. In baseball, there's a human element with errors and guys tripping over bases and all kinds of stuff - and blown calls. ''So, unfortunately for the A's it didn't go their way, but we're not going to be sorry for it.'' NOTES: Oakland came in riding an eight-game winning streak against Cleveland. ... The A's had not been swept in four games by the Indians since 1999. ... Indians OF Michael Bourn (cut index finger) rejoined the team after playing two games on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus. He's scheduled to be activated from the 15-day disabled and will likely play in this weekend's series in Detroit. ... After playing three games against the Tigers, the Indians will return home for a doubleheader Monday against the New York Yankees. The teams were rained out twice last month. ... RHP Vinnie Pestano (sore elbow) is scheduled to resume a throwing program this weekend.
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