Salazar holds A's to 1 hit in Tribe's 3rd straight win
OAKLAND -- Michael Bourn's go-ahead double in the ninth inning helped the Indians secure their third straight win, a 2-1 decision over the A's at the Coliseum on Friday night.
Lonnie Chisenhall led off the ninth with a base hit against A's closer Edward Mujica, who struck out Giovanny Urshela before falling behind Bourn, 2-0, and serving up a ground-rule double to right-center field, making a winner out of Danny Salazar. The right-hander held the A'sto just one hit -- an Eric Sogard single in the third -- over eight innings.
"Man, he was good," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Salazar. "He limited the damage that [third] inning, and then really pitched great after that. It just sets up the whole game. We're not doing a whole lot offensively, but because he held them in check, we tie it and then we go ahead. So, every run we got was meaningful."
A's righty Kendall Graveman, who had a 10.22 ERA over his last three starts, returned to form with 6 2/3 strong innings, allowing one unearned run and five hits. But A's hitters couldn't offer their starter much support for a second straight night, having compiled a total of three hits in the first two games of this four-game set.
"Anytime you waste a good start, as a hitter you get frustrated about that," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "When you can't give your boy two runs and he goes up there and gives up one unearned he should get the win for that, and we weren't able to do that for him."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Urshela's error: With runners on the corners and no outs in the third, A's shortstop Marcus Semien sent a sharp grounder to Tribe third baseman Giovanny Urshela. The rookie bobbled the ball, recovered quickly and threw hard across the diamond. First baseman Carlos Santana's footwork did him no favors and he missed a swipe tag attempt, allowing Semien to reach and a run to score, giving Oakland a 1-0 lead.
"I think Carlos got out of whack there," Francona said. "I don't know if he thought Gio was going to go to the plate, because he started out where, I don't know if he couldn't find the bag or didn't find the bag, because the throw was right there. He just got a little bit mixed up."
Semien's slip: A throwing error by Semien in the seventh helped Cleveland to an unearned run as well. With runners on second and third and two outs, it was Urshela who chopped a ball to the A's shortstop this time around. Semien charged and gloved the ball, but his errant throw helped Urshela reach first safely. Yan Gomes scored from third to pull the game into a 1-1 tie. It was Semien's Major League-leading 29th error of the season following a stretch of 14 games without one.
"That's a play that's gotta be made," Semien said. "Kendall deserves that win. We get one hit and still could have won that game. If that play's made, we get out of the inning. It's frustrating on my part because I know I can make that play."
Locked when loaded: The Indians went on to load the bases with two outs in the seventh, but that situation has been problematic all year for the Tribe. A's reliever Fernando Rodriguez entered and induced an inning-ending groundout from Mike Aviles. With the out, Cleveland's season average dropped to .128 (10-for-78) with the bases loaded this year.
"I was in fastball mode. Four-seam. Two-seam. I was sticking with that the whole game. I threw a few changeups and a few curveballs and I got a few ground balls and fly balls with the curveball, too. But fastball was the key tonight." -- Salazar on his outing
"We know what to do to turn it around. It's just about doing. We know that already in here. We know they've been pitching well pretty much all year. You'll have a bump in the road here or there, but for the most part, collectively as a unit, they give us a chance to go out there and win a ballgame every time. We can't ask for anything more." -- Bourn on the Indians' strong starting pitching
Francisco Lindor beat out an infield single to lead off the fourth inning but was picked off at first base after an A's challenge that resulted in the initial safe call being overturned.
Indians: Rookie starter Cody Anderson (2-2, 3.26 ERA), a native of Quincy, Calif., will have a host of family and friends on hand when he takes the ball against the A's at 6:05 p.m. PT Saturday. The big Cleveland right-hander has an 11.88 ERA in his past two starts (8 1/3 innings) after posting a 0.89 ERA in the first four outings of his Major League career.
A's: Right-hander Aaron Brooks, acquired from the Royals on Tuesday in the deal for Ben Zobrist, will make his A's debut Saturday in a home start against the Indians, beginning at 6:05 p.m. PT. Before the trade, Brooks spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Omaha, going 6-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 18 games, 17 of them starts.
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