Indians-Athletics Preview

Jack Hannahan and the Cleveland Indians are surging.

The Oakland Athletics are enjoying their longest winning streak

of the season.

Hannahan will try to continue his hot start at the plate and

help the Indians win for the sixth time in seven games Friday night

in the opener of a three-game series at O.co Coliseum.

Hannahan is hitting .313 with one homer and eight RBIs through

nine games. The third baseman had an average of .250 last season,

his highest since batting .278 in 41 games with Oakland in

2007.

He delivered the key hit Thursday, driving in two runs in the

ninth inning to rally Cleveland (6-5) to a 2-1 victory at Seattle.

The Indians were limited to five hits and were fanned 12 times over

the previous eight innings against Mariners ace Felix

Hernandez.

“When you dodge a guy like Hernandez and you’re able to win the

ballgame, whether you beat him or not, you feel like you did

something right,” manager Manny Acta said.

Hannahan’s success at the plate may continue against his former

club. He has a .308 average in 14 career meetings with the A’s,

going 6 for 15 with three homers and five RBIs in the last

three.

Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0, 4.50 ERA) takes the mound for Cleveland

looking to build on his first win.

Although the right-hander wasn’t as sharp as he was in his

season debut, he did enough to earn the win in a 13-7 victory at

Kansas City on Sunday. He allowed four runs and nine hits in five

innings, striking out five and walking three.

“Throwing 112 pitches in five innings is not good,” said

Jimenez, who has won three of his last four starts on the road

despite a 5.24 ERA.

He has faced Oakland once, yielding three runs with six

strikeouts in six innings of a game the Indians eventually won 4-3

in 16.

Jimenez will be facing an A’s team that is batting a major

league-worst .200 and ranks last in the AL with 43 runs scored.

Still, Oakland has followed a three-game slide with a winning

streak of that length thanks in part to a .333 average with runners

in scoring position, a difference of .155 points from its season

average in that scenario.

The A’s made it three wins in four games against the slumping

Los Angeles Angels with a 4-2 victory Thursday.

“It builds a ton of confidence, especially after coming off a

rough trip to Seattle,” right fielder Josh Reddick said.

Graham Godfrey (0-2, 4.09) is scheduled to get his first start

against the Indians.

The right-hander has lost all four decisions with a 3.65 ERA in

five games – four starts – since getting the only win of his young

career against San Francisco on June 17. His drought continued

Sunday, as Godfrey gave up five runs – three earned – and six hits

in five innings of a 5-3 loss at Seattle.

He has a 1.59 ERA in three career appearances – two starts – at

home, but just a 1-1 record to show for it since he was backed by

only four total runs.