CLEVELAND -- The Athletics couldn't figure out Corey Kluber all day, but as soon as the Cy Young Award winner headed to the bench, their offense awoke.Behind home runs from Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty, the A's stormed back against the Indians' bullpen for a 6-3 win in
CLEVELAND -- The Athletics couldn't figure out Corey Kluber all day, but as soon as the Cy Young Award winner headed to the bench, their offense awoke.
Behind home runs from Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty, the A's stormed back against the Indians' bullpen for a 6-3 win in 11 innings on Saturday at Progressive Field.
"It never seems like we're out of it," Lowrie said. "Especially to get a win with a guy like Kluber on the mound, even though we didn't beat him, just to get the win, it might be worth two."
Through the first seven frames, the Athletics could only manage five hits, four of which were singles, and none of which came in the same inning. They only put two runners on in a single inning in the first when Davis singled to put runners on the corners with two outs, but Matt Olson quickly popped out to end the threat.
Despite the lack of scoring, the A's were able to get Kluber up to 102 pitches through seven innings, which allowed them to get to the more beatable bullpen. And with the club's prodigious power -- Oakland came into Saturday tied for fifth in baseball with 115 homers -- things changed in a hurry.
Mark Canha hit a one-out single to left field off Neil Ramirez -- who hadn't given up a run since May 24 -- and Lowrie knocked him home with a home run to right field that left his bat at 102.9 mph, according to Statcast™. Davis then one-upped him three pitches later with a towering solo shot at 110.1 mph.
"They hit 3-4 for a reason," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "The way the game was going with Kluber, we were just hoping to get some guys on, and next thing you know, you hit two home runs to tie the game. When a starter comes out of the game that's pitching like he's pitching, you take a deep breath. Any time you hit back-to-back home runs late in the game to tie it, it's a nice little boost."
The Athletics bullpen held up well after starter Edwin Jackson departed in the sixth inning. Although Ryan Buchter allowed a single that scored one of his inherited runs, the left-hander, Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen combined to throw 5 1/3 scoreless frames to end the game.
The Athletics' bats again went quiet after the eighth-inning homers but returned with another timely power display. Against Josh Tomlin in the 11th, Olson shot a single to right field, and Piscotty pulled a 373-foot homer to center. Matt Chapman padded the lead with a double and scored -- after stealing his first career base -- on a Francisco Lindor error.
"You can't sleep on our offense," Piscotty said. "We can vaporize a lead really quick. We know that, and that's why we keep grinding and keep playing."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Despite not giving up a hit, Jackson almost ran himself into trouble in the fifth inning. Nine-hole hitter Greg Allen led off the frame with a walk and took second on a stolen base. Jackson narrowly avoided trouble when Piscotty caught a rocket off the bat of Michael Brantley on the warning track, but that advanced Allen to third. Jackson intentionally walked red-hot Jose Ramirez but could not put away Edwin Encarnacion, eventually walking him on seven pitches. Finally, he coaxed an easy pop out from Yonder Alonso and escaped the inning unscathed on 22 pitches.
That was big," Jackson said. "You walk Allen to get to the top of the order, and that's not an ideal situation that you want to be in. I wasn't going to give in to Encarnacion, I'd rather take my chances against the next batter. But it's one of those situations where I had to make pitches."
Saturday was a banner day for Chapman, who had his first four-hit game and stolen base more than a year after his Major League debut. Chapman doubled, walked and singled against Kluber -- moving to 5-for-5 in his career against him -- and added a ninth-inning single and 11th-inning double. After his final double, Chapman took third and made it in safely with a high throw. It came in his 157th game on his sixth attempt.
"He's been getting a little grief for that," Melvin said. "It took him over a year to get a steal. But I mean to have these numbers of Kluber in a short period of time, not many people can do that. He was the one guy that was really getting good swings and seeing the ball well off him. A great day for him."
HE SAID IT
"I wouldn't want to hit behind anyone else honestly, because he's always on base. I wouldn't have my RBI count if it wasn't for Jed. He's the glue that makes everything stick." -- Davis, on Lowrie
Brett Anderson will make his return from the 10-day disabled list (left shoulder strain) Sunday at 10:10 a.m. PT as he faces off against the Indians for the first time since August 2012. In four starts this season, Anderson has given up 15 runs (13 earned) in 15 1/3 innings. Rookie right-hander Shane Bieber will start for Cleveland.
Ben Weinrib is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cleveland.