Brooks earns first career win in A's debut, 5-1 over Indians
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Aaron Brooks was far more pleased with the ovation he received in his Oakland debut than how he was received in his first career start with Kansas City more than 14 months ago.
Back then, Brooks was cheered by the Toronto crowd when he got knocked out of the game in the first inning after giving up seven runs to the Blue Jays.
This time, the 25-year-old drew a standing ovation from the Athletics crowd after earning his first win the majors.
Marcus Semien homered to back Brooks and the A's beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
''I tried to stay focused on the task and it worked out,'' Brooks said. ''I'd like to think guys can't sit on too many pitches when I'm throwing them all for strikes. It really worked out tonight.''
Pitching in front of a crowd of 19,046 that included his parents and grandparents, Brooks (1-0) was stellar while allowing one run and five hits over seven-plus innings. The right-hander, who joined Oakland as part of the June 28 trade that sent Ben Zobrist to Kansas City, struck out five and didn't walk a batter in his first start since May 31, 2014.
That was all A's manager Bob Melvin needed to see. After the game, Melvin announced that Brooks will remain in Oakland's starting rotation.
''He deserves to,'' Melvin said. ''It would have been pretty tough to send him down after that.''
Billy Butler and Sam Fuld had two hits apiece as the A's won for just the fifth time since the All-Star break.
Semien's home run off Cleveland starter Cody Anderson (2-3) in the seventh was his ninth of the season.
Lonnie Chisenhall homered off Brooks in the fifth for the Indians' lone run.
''(Brooks) had good stuff, keeping the ball down,'' Chisenhall said. ''His slider was coming in hard. He did a good job and it showed on the scoreboard.''
The A's had just three hits in the previous two games and didn't get much more against Anderson and three relievers.
They didn't need it on a night when Brooks pitched the best game of his brief career.
Brooks retired 17 of the first 19 batters and only allowed two runners past first base. He left to a standing ovation in the seventh after getting Mike Aviles to fly out with a runner on first.
''I couldn't ask for anything more,'' Brook said of the reception he got from the Oakland crowd. ''They made me feel so at home, so welcome. I couldn't thank them enough.''
Drew Pomeranz retired two batters and Edward Mujica pitched the ninth to complete the five-hitter.
Cleveland had won three straight but struggled offensively.
The Indians also hurt themselves defensively when the A's scored twice in the fifth on a throwing error by Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana.
Anderson gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings. He's allowed 14 earned runs over his last three starts after giving up only three in his first four outings.
Indians: Manager Terry Francona decided to keep leadoff hitter Jason Kipnis in the designated hitter slot to give him a chance to rest his sore shoulder.
Athletics: LHP Eric O'Flaherty was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Brooks. O'Flaherty had struggled in his second season with Oakland, going 1-2 with a 5.91 ERA in 25 games. ... Closer Sean Doolittle (shoulder strain) threw 31 pitches during a bullpen session. ... Newly acquired pitcher Felix Dubrount could be activated Sunday.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (8-8) tries to get back on the winning track after becoming the first Cleveland pitcher since 2009 to throw a complete game at home and lose.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (11-4) pitches the series finale going for his second win against the Indians this season. He blanked Cleveland with a two-hit shutout on July 12.