Athletics 3, Indians 2

Stephen Vogt can really fly. Especially for a catcher, as he

cheerfully points out.

With the game tied in the seventh, Vogt took off from first on

Eric Sogard’s two-out double and beat the throw home to score the

go-ahead run in Oakland’s 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on

Friday night.

”I can run,” Vogt said, smiling. ”I played a lot of outfield

in the minor leagues and I’ve been able to run a little bit, for a

stereotypical catcher.”

Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer in the first, and Sogard

came through yet again with a timely hit.

The A’s gained ground on first-place Texas in the AL West race

for the second straight day, pulling within a half-game after the

Rangers lost at home to Seattle.

”Every one’s huge now,” Sogard said. ”We’re not in the middle

of the game looking at the scoreboard, though.”

Former A’s fan favorite Nick Swisher tied the game at 2 in the

seventh with an RBI single, and winner Sean Doolittle (4-4) walked

the bases loaded before getting out of it with only the one run.

Swisher, booed at every chance, grounded out with runners on first

and second to end the eighth.

Grant Balfour pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 32 chances,

allowing a one-out walk to Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley’s

single before Asdrubal Cabrera lined into a game-ending double play

as the A’s held on to win for the first time in five tries this

year against the Indians.

Cleveland All-Star Justin Masterson (13-9) lost consecutive

decisions for just the second time this season. He allowed three

runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings after coming off his shortest

outing of the year, 4 1-3 innings in which he allowed five runs and

seven hits against the Angels.

He is still looking for his first victory in the Oakland

Coliseum. He dropped to 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in six appearances and

five starts.

”We couldn’t catch a break,” Masterson said. ”We were getting

some good at-bats. We got guys on, we weren’t able to get that

extra one.”

A’s starter A.J. Griffin escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth

but his pitch count climbed in a hurry and he was done after five

innings and 104 pitches. The right-hander’s winless stretch reached

three starts since getting victories in four of his previous five

outings.

”That many pitches in five innings and you’re feeling good

about yourself,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”But when

you get to the bullpen, this is one of the few teams who can run

some pretty good guys out there.”

The A’s held on in their home ballpark after being swept in a

four-game series in Cleveland from May 6-9, being outscored 21-8.

In the third game of the series, Adam Rosales was denied a

ninth-inning home run and given a double by the umpires in a 4-3

A’s loss – even after going to replay. Major League Baseball the

next day said the umpires made an ”improper call,” but executive

vice president Joe Torre said the ”judgment” decision is

final.

Griffin and Masterson matched up in that one, too.

On Friday, the Indians got on the board in the third on Carlos

Santana’s single to right. Gold Glove right fielder Josh Reddick

wildly overthrew third baseman Josh Donaldson trying to get

Swisher. The ball hit the facing of the Oakland dugout and bounced

back onto the field, where Donaldson grabbed it and threw home not

knowing the play was dead and Swisher would score. Meanwhile,

Griffin went sliding into the dirt on his knees apparently thinking

he could stop the ball from reaching the dugout.

Reddick made a nice reaching catch at the warning track on a

hard hit ball by Michael Bourn in the fifth to rob him of an

extra-base hit, then Cespedes chased down a drive by Brantley for

the third out of the inning as the Indians left the bases

loaded.

NOTES: The Indians matched a season high by stranding 13

baserunners. … A’s CF Coco Crisp is still dealing with stiffness

in his troublesome left wrist and sat out three days after

receiving a cortisone injection. … Indians RHP Corey Kluber, on

the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger,

played catch from 90 feet in right field before the game. He will

extend out to 120 feet Saturday. ”He’s kind of flying through

this,” Francona said. … Cleveland RHP Carlos Carrasco has been

moved to the bullpen for now. He allowed 10 hits and four earned

runs in 4 1-3 innings Wednesday at Minnesota. Recalled last Friday

from Triple-A Columbus, he is winless in seven starts this year and

hasn’t won since June 29, 2011, at Arizona. … Francona on

Cleveland reserve Jason Giambi, former A’s slugger: ”He’s been a

blessing to all of us here. There’s some wear and tear on those

tires, he’s got some miles on them. But he’s still a presence in

the batter’s box.” … Indians RHP Brett Myers, out since April 20

with right elbow inflammation, threw his fourth bullpen and is set

for a simulated game Sunday at Double-A Akron.