Cabrera homers twice as Indians down A’s
CLEVELAND (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera homered twice and Mark Reynolds hit one to the deepest reaches of Progressive Field, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
Jason Kipnis and Cabrera hit consecutive homers in the first inning off Jarrod Parker (1-5). In the fifth, Cabrera homered again and Reynolds launched a 460-foot shot — his 10th this season — that nearly cleared the left-field bleachers.
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The four homers backed Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2), who had his second straight solid outing. Jimenez struck out a season-high eight in 5 2-3 innings as Cleveland won for the seventh time in eight games.
Jason Giambi hit a clutch, two-run single and Ryan Raburn doubled home a run in the seventh for the Indians, who had their six-game winning streak stopped Sunday.
Yoenis Cespedes homered and hit a sacrifice fly for the A’s, who had won eight in a row over the Indians.
Jimenez pitched seven shutout innings in his previous start last week at Kansas City. It was the type of performance the Indians have been waiting to see from the right-hander, who has been a major disappointment since coming over in a 2011 trade from Colorado.
“It flew past encouraging and went right to exciting,” Indians manager Terry Francona said before Jimenez faced the A’s.
Jimenez wasn’t as dominant, but he was good enough to slow down the A’s, who came in leading the majors in runs, doubles and extra-base hits. Jimenez allowed two runs and four hits.
Jimenez was helped by the long ball as Cleveland clouted the four solo shots — they lead the AL with 44 homers — totaling 1,581 feet off Parker.
The Indians gave Jimenez a quick 2-0 lead, jumping on Parker in their first at-bat as Kipnis and Cabrera hit their back-to-back homers.
Kipnis hit his third homer into the left-field seats, and Cabrera followed with a rocket that skipped off the roof of Cleveland’s bullpen in center. One out later, Parker drilled Reynolds and plate umpire Angel Hernandez warned both benches before things escalated.
Jimenez didn’t need to buzz any Oakland hitters. He was too busy blowing fastballs past them. He recorded his 1,000th career strikeout in the third, when he fanned the side.
Cespedes connected in the fourth for his sixth homer to bring the A’s within 2-1.
Jimenez, though, who has had a tendency to unravel at the first sign of trouble, settled down and struck out three in a row and carried a tenuous one-run lead into the bottom of the fifth.
That’s when Cabrera and Reynolds teed off on Parker. Cabrera led off with his second homer of the night, a high fly that looked like a routine out but carried over the right-field fence.
One out later, Reynolds delivered a no-doubt-about-it blast that landed three rows from the top of the left-field bleachers. Reynolds’ long homer caused several Indians players to lean over the dugout railing and point to where they thought the ball touched down.
The A’s pulled within 4-2 in the sixth on Cespedes’ sacrifice fly and loaded the bases with two outs before Francona pulled Jimenez for Nick Hagadone. The left-hander, recalled before the game when Vinnie Pestano went on the 15-day disabled list, struck out Josh Reddick on three pitches.
After looking at strike three, a disgusted Reddick flipped the bat behind his head and was shooed into the dugout by Hernandez, who probably had every right to toss him.
Giambi and Raburn gave the Indians come cushion with their two-out hits in the seventh.
NOTES: Raburn was chosen the AL’s Player of the Week after batting .591 with four homers and nine RBIs in five games. “Awesome,” said Raburn, who signed with Cleveland as a minor league free agent in January. … Pestano will be out at least 10 days with elbow tendinitis. …. The A’s are 13-3 against the AL West and 5-12 against everyone else. … Oakland LHP Brett Anderson, on the DL with a sprained ankle, could rejoin the team in the next few days to throw a bullpen session if he continues to progress. … Indians CF Michael Bourn had the first game of a minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus rained out. He has been on the DL since slicing open his right hand on a dive into first last month. As long as there are no setbacks, the plan is to recall Bourn for this weekend’s series in Detroit. … A’s OF Seth Smith is in a 3-for-18 slump and has been battling tonsillitis. Oakland manager Bob Melvin praised Smith for playing sick. “I was just trying not to shake his hand, I didn’t want to get it,” Melvin joked. “He’s a tough guy.”