Indians 1, Athletics 0

It’s easy to see why Cleveland manager Terry Francona likes what
he sees from his team these days.

Thanks to stellar pitching and pushing across an unearned run,
the Indians won for the eighth time in nine games with a 1-0
victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Zach McAllister and two relievers combined on a shutout while
Cleveland took advantage of two errors on one play, which led to
Yan Gomes’ sacrifice fly in the fifth that scored the game’s only
run.

”When you pitch you have a chance to win the game,” Francona
said. ”We didn’t do a whole lot offensively. We had a sac fly and
you hear the music playing.”

Francona made his remarks in an interview room a few feet from
the Indians’ clubhouse where music blared from a stereo system,
leading to the manager’s only minor criticism of the night.

”I’m not sure I like the words to that song that’s playing,”
he joked.

Other than that, it was another good night for the Indians, who
are two games over .500 for the first time since winning the first
two games of the season. McAllister, Rich Hill and Chris Perez
limited the highest-scoring offense in the majors to six hits and
did not allow a runner to reach second base.

McAllister (3-3) struck out four and walked one in 7 2-3
innings. The right-hander was pulled after John Jaso’s two-out
single in the eighth. Hill then retired pinch-hitter Luke Montz to
end the inning and Perez pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

McAllister, who came into the season with a 6-9 career record,
has allowed three earned runs or less in all six starts.

”He ran the game,” Francona said. ”He’s learning so fast.
When you tell him something, even in passing, he takes it into the
game. The game’s not speeding up at all. He’s executing
pitches.”

Tommy Milone (3-4), who lost a career-worst fourth straight
start, was done in by shoddy defense and no run support. The
Indians managed only five hits, but errors by first baseman Brandon
Moss and second baseman Eric Sogard on the same play led to the
only run.

The Athletics have scored a total of five runs during Milone’s
losing streak after putting up 28 in his first three outings. The
left-hander struck out five and walked none in seven innings.

Oakland, which is already playing without Coco Crisp and Chris
Young, could be missing right fielder Josh Reddick for an
indefinite period. Reddick missed Tuesday’s game with a sore right
wrist and said afterward he might require a trip to the disabled
list. He’s in a 3-for-27 slump and batting .152.

McAllister was the recipient of seven home runs in his last
start, a 14-2 win over Philadelphia. The right-hander didn’t have
that luxury this time.

”Everyone wants to have a lot of run support, but you’re going
to have games like this when the pitcher has to pick up the
hitters,” he said.

Yoenis Cespedes singled with one out in the ninth, but was
thrown out trying to steal second by Gomes. Moss struck out on a
3-2 pitch to end the game.

”It was a laser,” Perez said of Gomes’ throw. ”It was right
on the bag, right on the money.”

Oakland manager Bob Melvin had no problems with the steal
attempt.

”You’ve got to try it,” he said. ”Cespedes had to take that
chance. If I didn’t want him to go, I’d have put a red light on
him.”

The unusual fifth inning started when Carlos Santana’s ground
ball glanced off Moss’ glove and rolled to Sogard, whose throw to
Milone covering first was wild. The ball skipped past Oakland’s
dugout and rolled behind home plate. Santana ended up at second and
Moss and Sogard were charged with errors.

”As a first baseman, when a ball is hit to your right, your
instincts tell you to go for it,” Melvin said. ”Now, Brandon also
has got to know his limitations, but that’s a play you’re going to
try and make. Then, Sogey tries to make a throw to Milone and that
didn’t turn out too good.”

NOTES: OF Michael Bourn (lacerated right index finger) played
his first rehab game at Triple-A Columbus, going 1-for-3 with a
walk, two strikeouts and a stolen base Tuesday. … OF Michael
Brantley, who started 28 of the first 29 games, wasn’t in the
lineup against Milone. Drew Stubbs batted leadoff for the third
time this season and Mike Aviles started in left field. Brantley
entered the game defensively in the ninth. … Francona said a scan
of RHP Vinnie Pestano’s sore elbow came back clean. Pestano was
placed on the disabled list Monday, retroactive to May 1. … OF
Ezequiel Carrera, designated for assignment Sunday, cleared waivers
and was sent outright to Columbus. … Athletics RHP Jarrod Parker
(sore neck) will throw Wednesday and a decision will then be made
on whether he makes his next start. He was pulled after allowing
four home runs in five innings Monday because of the injury. …
LHP Brett Anderson (sprained right ankle) will join the team in
Cleveland and throw a bullpen session Wednesday. … RHP A.J.
Griffin (3-2) takes on RHP Justin Masterson (4-2) in the third game
of the series Wednesday.