Streaking A’s take on Indians
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics fans will get a chance to see their new record-tying pitcher in person for the first time Saturday when right-hander Edwin Jackson takes the mound against the Cleveland Indians.
The 34-year-old Jackson (0-0, 1.50 ERA) made history Monday when he pitched a 5-4 win for the A’s at Detroit.
Oakland became Jackson’s 13th team in his 16-year career, allowing Jackson to tie a former member of the A’s, Octavio Dotel, for most major league franchises in a career.
Jackson did not get a decision in his A’s debut despite allowing just one run and six hits in six innings. He has, however, had a lot of success against the Indians in his career.
Jackson has pitched 15 times, 13 as a starter, against Cleveland in his career, going 9-1 with a 2.76 ERA.
The nine wins are the fifth-most for an active Indians opponent, trailing just Justin Verlander (20) and three players he can tie with a win Saturday — Zack Greinke (10), David Price (10) and Rick Porcello (10).
The .900 winning percentage is the second-best among active pitchers with five or more career decisions against the Indians, trailing only another former A’s pitcher, Gio Gonzalez (6-0).
Jackson admitted thoroughly enjoying Monday’s comeback effort.
“It’s a lot of fun pitching in games like that, kind of the new guy and wanting to set a good first impression,” he said.
Jackson could have a similar feeling Saturday as it will be his first home game as a member of the A’s. He has pitched two previous games in Oakland, both as a visitor, going 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA.
The veteran will be backed by an A’s team that has won five in a row and 11 of its last 13. The A’s also won eight of their last nine against the Indians dating back to 2016.
Not surprisingly, given his 15 previous years in the majors, Jackson has a significant history against several members of the Indians, including Yonder Alonso, who has gone 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles and two home runs against his fellow ex-San Diego Padre.
Alonso also is no stranger to Oakland, having represented the A’s in the 2017 All-Star Game, after hitting 22 home runs in 100 games, before getting dealt to the Seattle Mariners.
The 31-year-old credits A’s manager Bob Melvin for helping him get the three-year, $24 million contract he received from the Indians in free agency over the winter.
“It’s always nice to come back here,” Alonso said Friday. “They gave me a huge opportunity that I’m really thankful for.”
Cleveland will counter on the mound Saturday with rookie right-hander Adam Plutko (4-1, 4.65), who has never faced the A’s.
Like Jackson, Plutko is coming off a successful outing against Detroit, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings in a 12-2 win last Sunday.
He’ll find himself having to deal with one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball, Oakland second/third baseman Jed Lowrie, who contributed a home run to Friday’s 3-1 win in the series opener.
Lowrie has four singles, three doubles and three home runs in his last five games.