Anderson K's 10 as A's edge Indians
Brett Anderson felt his slider was dominant Friday night against but it was the Oakland right-hander's slow curve that did most of the damage against Cleveland.
Anderson pitched six shutout innings and had a career-high 10 strikeouts, moving him within three of the most-ever by an Athletics rookie, as Oakland stayed hot with a 2-1 win over the slumping Indians.
"Brett just keeps getting better in the second half," A's manager Bob Geren said. "Now he really has no real weakness as a pitcher. He can do whatever he wants with a baseball. Brett's been very consistent the last month or two."
Anderson (10-10) allowed only two singles and a pair of doubles and didn't allow a runner past second base while winning his third straight start. The right-hander only ran into trouble once, in the sixth when he gave up a one-out double Michael Brantley and walked Shin-Soo Choo with two outs but Anderson got Jhonny Peralta to strike out looking to end the threat.
That was his 10th strikeout, surpassing his previous career-high of nine set on July 6 at Boston.
"Getting comfortable and sticking to one side of the rubber and telling myself I'm going to at least show that I'm going to throw to both sides of the plate, that's probably been the biggest thing," Anderson said. "Just showing that I'm going to throw fastballs away and changeups, just change their eyesights a little bit. That's been the biggest factor lately."
Brantley and Kelly Shoppach had two hits apiece for Cleveland, which fell to 0-5 on its current seven-game road trip and has lost six straight and 15 of 18 overall.
"Obviously we're struggling offensively right now, so that comes into play," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "I don't want to take anything away from Anderson. He threw the ball well and their bullpen did a good job. Offensively we struggled. We need to take advantage of whenever we do create opportunities."
Anderson recorded eight of his 10 strikeouts with his slider and now has 139 on the season, second-most ever by an A's rookie. He needs just three more to pass Rick Langford's record of 141 set in 1977.
With at least two more starts, that shouldn't be a problem for Anderson, especially if his curveball is working as well as it was against the Indians.
"I was kind of using it as a change-up factor early in the count," Anderson said. "I got some outs on it and I think it helped set up my slider and fastballs. Anytime I feel like I can flip it in there early in the count, and tonight was one of those nights."
Nomar Garciaparra added two hits and an RBI and Rajai Davis added a pair of singles and reached 40 steals for Oakland, which won its fifth straight and 10th in the last 12.
Jeff Gray and Craig Breslow pitched one scoreless inning apiece and Brad Ziegler worked the ninth to complete the six-hitter and record his seventh save in 10 chances.
Anderson's outing extended a solid stretch by Oakland's starting pitchers, who are now 8-1 with a 3.03 ERA over the last 11 games. They needed the strong start because after scoring 24 runs in the previous four games, the A's managed just two off Indians starter David Huff, both coming in the third.
Davis singled and Kurt Suzuki walked against Huff (10-8). One out later, Garciaparra doubled to right-center to drive in Davis and Mark Ellis added an RBI single to score Suzuki.
Anderson and the A's bullpen made it stand up.
Notes: The A's placed RHP Vin Mazzaro on the 60-day disabled list due to shoulder tendinitis in a move that is retroactive to Sept. 8. Mazzaro was 4-9 with a 5.32 ERA in 17 starts. Oakland called up OF Matt Carson to take Mazzaro's spot on the 40-man roster. Carson started in right field and batted eighth, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. ... The A's didn't commit an error for the seventh straight game, matching their longest streak of the season. ... Garciaparra now has a career batting average of .374 (96 for 257) against the Indians.