Athletics 6, Indians 4
Josh Donaldson’s third stint in the majors this season is
proving to be a lot more enjoyable for the Oakland infielder than
the previous two.
Called up from the minors this week after the Athletics placed
third baseman Brandon Inge on the disabled list with a shoulder
injury, Donaldson had three hits on Oakland’s recently completed
road trip and followed it up with a career game against Cleveland
on Friday night.
Donaldson hit a tiebreaking single with the bases loaded in the
eighth inning for his fourth hit and the A’s rallied from four runs
down to beat the Indians 6-4.
”The previous times I’ve been in the (majors) I’ve been so
amped up I haven’t allowed my abilities to really work,” Donaldson
said. ”Ever since I’ve been here this time, I’ve gone up there
with a relaxed mentality.”
The two-run eighth inning capped Oakland’s largest comeback this
season and kicked off its six-game homestand on a positive note
following a disappointing 2-4 road trip.
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
Pestano before Donaldson’s fourth hit of the night scored
pinch-runner Adam Rosales.
”Staying the other way, letting the ball travel and getting a
longer look at it, that’s the things we preach in those type of
situations,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”Now it’s difficult
sometimes to go up there when the game’s racing and you want to be
the hero, but he did just that and it was a great at-bat.”
Donaldson had three singles, a double and two RBIs. It was the
first four-hit game of his career.
Cliff Pennington added a sacrifice fly to finish the rally for
the A’s, who pulled within five games of first-place Texas in the
AL West and a half-game of the second wild-card spot.
Shelley Duncan hit his first career grand slam for the
”Once we got the grand slam we couldn’t get the shutdown
inning,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. ”We allowed them to
get the momentum back. Baseball is all about pitching and they got
Jordan Norberto (4-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win and
Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his 10th save, capping a stellar
night for Oakland’s bullpen after starter Tommy Milone
Cleveland managed only one hit and two baserunners following
Duncan’s grand slam off Milone in the fourth. Pat Neshek relieved
in the sixth and pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings before giving way
The A’s also got an emotional lift from Reddick, their leading
home run hitter who was not in the starting lineup after undergoing
a second dental procedure earlier in the day.
Yoenis Cespedes had two hits, Pennington added two RBIs and Moss
scored twice to help the A’s win for the 10th time in 21 games
following a 16-2 run in July.
Cleveland dropped to 1-3 on its nine-game road trip. The Indians
fell to 10-24 since the All-Star break, the worst mark in the
It didn’t start out so bad for the Indians.
Carlos Santana walked leading off the first and went to second
when Cespedes misplayed Michael Brantley’s fly ball to left. The
play was originally scored an error before being changed to a hit
nearly an hour after the game.
Jason Donald followed with a single to load the bases before
Duncan hit a 3-2 pitch from Milone into the stands above the
It was Duncan’s 11th home run this season but only his fourth
hit in August. The designated hitter went into the game batting
.107 this month.
Cleveland starter Zach McAllister, who began the season with
Triple-A Columbus, couldn’t make the four-run lead hold up. The
right-hander had six strikeouts and one walk but pitched with
runners on base in every inning.
He gave up an RBI double to Donaldson in the fourth and the A’s
pulled within 4-2 when Moss scored on Derek Norris’ grounder.
Pennington followed with a two-out single to drive in
Oakland tied it in the fifth when Cespedes doubled, stole third
and scored on Carter’s sacrifice fly.
”It was great to get a good jump on the game and get runs on
the board early,” Duncan said. ”But for them to answer like that
Milone struck out six and walked one. He is winless in his last
five starts and has a 7.13 ERA during that span.
NOTES: Norris, Oakland’s catcher, was hit in the back of the
head on Santana’s follow-through in the first but remained in the
game. … Several members of the A’s 2002 team were on hand. The
franchise is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Oakland’s 20-game
winning streak, which was the subject of the movie ”Moneyball.”
… Acta said he expects to bring up at least one starter when
rosters expand in September. … Cleveland slugger Travis Hafner,
on the disabled list since Aug. 6, continues to rest after
receiving an injection in his lower back last week. The Indians
have no timetable for his return. … A’s LHP Brett Anderson
(elbow) is slated to throw a bullpen Saturday. … RHP Bartolo
Colon (9-9), who pitches for Oakland on Saturday, has a 2.47 ERA
since coming off the disabled list July 3. RHP Corey Kluber (0-1)
pitches the middle game for Cleveland in his fifth start this
season. … Donald made his first career start in left field.