OAKLAND -- The A's didn't have a baserunner through four innings, but they had Edwin Jackson on the mound, and the offense they needed poured it on in the last four innings.Jackson notched his first A's win in his second start of the season, tossing 6 2/3 innings in Oakland's
OAKLAND -- The A's didn't have a baserunner through four innings, but they had Edwin Jackson on the mound, and the offense they needed poured it on in the last four innings.
Jackson notched his first A's win in his second start of the season, tossing 6 2/3 innings in Oakland's 7-2 victory over the Indians at the Coliseum on Saturday, the club's season-high sixth straight win and 12th in its last 14 games.
The A's scored three times in the sixth inning and four more in the eighth to break the game open. They rallied from a 2-0 deficit to back Jackson, who also pitched well in his debut Monday against the Tigers. He has provided a much-needed arm with multiple starters out with injuries.
"For a veteran guy like that, you trust his stuff," A's catcher Josh Phegley said. "He knows how to pitch. He's not afraid of anybody."
Jackson allowed two hits -- both home runs -- while walking none and striking out six. He gave up the solo shots to Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez in the fourth, but he retired everyone else. The 34-year-old journeyman pumped up the velocity on his fastball to 97 mph when he needed to, getting swinging strikes and inducing fly balls by attacking the strike zone.
"It's like he's got three different fastballs," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said, adding that he was surprised that Jackson wasn't on a Major League roster before the A's signed him earlier this month.
Jackson has now won 10 straight starts in his career over the Indians. This one came while wearing his 13th different uniform, and he knows that on this team, he has the benefit of a potent offense behind him, one that can flip the switch quickly.
"With the team that we have, knowing that we can score runs, you just have to keep pitching and stick to the gameplan," Jackson said. "Allow these boys to do what they do best, and that's hit the ball."
They did just that. The offense backed him for the win, courtesy of a big sixth inning after Indians starter Adam Plutko struggled after retiring the first 12 batters of the game in order. Franklin Barreto led off the sixth with a double, and Phegley tied the game with a two-run homer. After a Dustin Fowler single, Mark Canha knocked him in with a long double to left to give the A's the lead.
The A's, who are now 32-0 when leading after seven innings, provided their bullpen plenty of cushion in the eighth. Fowler and Matt Olson both crushed home runs to right, and Khris Davis hit a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to five runs for one of the hottest teams in baseball -- and Jackson is just glad to be along for the ride.
The veteran has only been in Oakland for a week but thinks that this is a special group, one that is underrated but hungry. He is not pitching for money, but to have fun, to soak in the Major Leagues as long as he can.
"If I look in the mirror and say I can't [play] anymore, I'm going to go home," Jackson said. "I've made enough money to have my family set. Now I'm just having fun, man. I want to be a part of a group and have something to bring to the table to a team, and here I am."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Indians loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning against Santiago Casilla, forcing the A's to turn to Lou Trivino in a save situation with the tying run on deck. Trivino immediately induced a double play from Yonder Alonso to end the game.
Olson has hit 15 of his 18 home runs this season off right-handed pitching. His two-run shot in the eighth was his only hit of the day.
"Just [wanted to] hit a ball well today at some point," Olson said. "It's been a grind for me to stay consistent this year."
HE SAID IT
"We've just played complete games. If the bats aren't there to start, our pitching's covered us for a little bit. If we struggle with pitching one game, our bats come in. We've just been in every game, and it's been fun to watch." -- Olson, on the A's recent run of success
Frankie Montas (4-1, 3.68 ERA) will take the hill for the A's in the series finale vs. Cleveland, looking to rebound after a rough outing in Detroit in his last start on Tuesday. He went just three innings and allowed six runs on eight hits against the Tigers. The Indians will counter with Mike Clevinger (6-3, 3.03), with first pitch at 1:05 p.m. PT at the Coliseum.
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.