Found August 17, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
The Oakland Athletics have admittedly been pressing at the plate recently, but a visit from the Cleveland Indians could help take the pressure off.
The Athletics open a six-game homestand Friday night with the first of three against the slumping Indians.
Oakland avoided a three-game sweep at Kansas City with a 3-0 win Thursday. Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes homered to back rookie Daniel Straily's first major league win.
Crisp's home run in the sixth broke a scoreless tie and came following an umpire review.
"It felt we were starting to grind a little harder than we should," manager Bob Melvin said. "You start digging and it doesn't feel like anything is going to happen. At the time, that was certainly the key hit of the game and it ended up being the key hit."
The Athletics (62-55) scored two runs in the previous two games of the series and have struck out at least nine times in the last six games - the longest streak in franchise history.
Part of Oakland's offensive slump can be traced to Cespedes' lack of production. His homer Thursday was his first since July 28, also the date of his most recent extra-base hit.
The Athletics lineup could have an easier time against the Indians (54-64), who have fallen 10 games below .500, matching a season high, behind a struggling pitching staff.
Cleveland has dropped 12 of its last 13 road games, with those 12 losses coming by an average of 4.9 runs.
Tommy Milone (9-9, 3.91 ERA) will try to pitch Oakland to a third straight home win after receiving some extended rest this week.
After recording a 0.91 ERA through his first eight home starts, Milone struggled in the last two. He gave up five runs in six innings of a loss to Tampa Bay on July 31, then allowed six runs in six innings of a 6-5 defeat to Toronto on Aug. 5.
That was the third straight start overall in which he surrendered at least five runs.
Looking to rest the rookie left-hander, Oakland pushed back his start, with Milone originally scheduled to have pitched last Saturday.
"It's a mental grind once you get to this time of the year," Melvin told the Athletics' official website. "Tommy's last few games haven't been his best, but it really isn't about that. We've been looking to potentially do this for a while now."
Milone faces a Cleveland team that lost the final two games of its three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels this week.
Roberto Hernandez struggled in his season debut Wednesday, allowing eight runs over six innings in an 8-4 loss. He wasn't helped by his defense, which committed three errors during a five-run second, including two by recently acquired Brent Lillibridge.
"We won the second half of the game. But you have to play nine innings, and unfortunately the second inning killed us," manager Manny Acta said. "Hernandez threw the ball a lot better than his numbers indicated. He deserved better. But we played terrible defense behind him."
The Indians won two of three in Oakland in April and has taken eight of the last 11 meetings overall.
They'll turn to Zach McAllister (5-4, 3.46) hoping the right-hander can win a second consecutive start.
McAllister gave up two runs and three hits over a career-high eight innings in a 5-2 win over Boston on Saturday. That was in stark contrast to his previous appearance when he failed to make it out of the second inning in a 14-3 loss to Minnesota.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
A fourth-inning grand slam off the bat of Shelley Duncan gave the Tribe a 4-0 lead in this installment of West Coast baseball. However, Tribe starter Zach McAllister gave that four-run cushion back over the span of two innings, and Vinnie Pestano allowed a pair of Joe Smith’s runners to cross the plate and break the tie in the eighth as the Athletics took the opener 6-4. The Tribe...
The Indians opened up a three-game set in Oakland last night against the relevant again Athletics. The Indians struck first in a big way, but their starting pitching failed them again as did the bullpen while the offense powered down after the fourth inning in a 6-4 loss.
Zach McAllister started out strong, and for the first three innings, pitched like the guy who has quickly become...
Cue up Yakety Sax.
Bot 2nd: LA Angels
- A. Callaspo singled to shallow left, K. Morales scored, M. Trumbo to third
- V. Wells safe at first on shortstop B. Lillibridge’s fielding error, M. Trumbo scored, A. Callaspo to second
- C. Iannetta hit sacrifice fly to center, A. Callaspo scored
- M. Trout stole second, V. Wells scored on C. Santana’s fielding...
The Cleveland Indians Infielders weren’t very kind to Roberto Hernandez last night, a host of errors helped the Angels to score 5 runs in the second inning. It was some of the ugliest baseball the Indians have played all season, it was almost as the Cleveland Indians were replaced by a little league team. They were making bad throws that were so far off target the Angels could...
At times, you have to forgive some Major League Baseball players for losing track of the numbers of outs and balls/strikes during games.During Wednesday night's Angels/Indians affair, Cleveland pitcher Roberto Hernandez thought that he had recorded the final out of the bottom of the second inning with a strike out of Erick Aybar.As Hernandez and Santana both started walking off...
Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics rallied from four runs down to beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Friday night.
Chris Carter drew a leadoff walk against Cleveland reliever Joe Smith (7-3) and Brandon Moss followed with a single. Pinch-hitter Josh Reddick then blooped a single into right field off Vinnie...
One of the decisions the Cleveland Indians will have to make in the next year involves outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who has been their most effective offensive player. Choo leads the Indians in virtually every offensive category except RBI. The 30-year-old left-handed hitter is hitting .284 with a .368 on-base percentage and .470 slugging percentage. He also leads the team with 14...
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It’s a great story. He still stinks. “Jimenez’s humble beginnings helped shape who he is today: A lanky pitcher who mostly keeps to himself and rarely shows emotion...
Player of the Game
Shin-Soo Choo took this Player of the Game late as he attempted an impossible comeback with a two run home run in the 9th inning. It was his second hit of the night and gave him a score of 4.63. Carlos Santana (3.05) had a decent game with a home run of his own and Corey Kluber (2.47) settled down nicely after a rocky start. Asdrubal Cabrera's score of...
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Torii Hunter tried to score from first base on a double by Kendrys Morales that went over the head of Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo. Third baseman Jack Hannahan got the relay from Choo and threw to catcher Carlos...
If the Oakland Athletics are to remain unlikely participants in the AL wild-card race into September, they'll want to keep taking advantage of the Cleveland Indians' dismal August.
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Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com
Player of the Game
Shin-Soo Choo gave Indians fans something to be happy about with a three run home run that also won him tonight's Player of the Game. The home run was his only real positive note of the night, earning him a score of 5.68. Asdrubal Cabrera also had a decent game with a double and a single, knocking in one run for a score of 1.96.