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Oakland at Cleveland

Venue: Progressive Field
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Jesse Chavez has given the Oakland Athletics a huge lift in his first full season as a starter. Another strong performance could prove especially key after a busy day for the bullpen.

Chavez takes the mound opposite Justin Masterson as the surging A's go for a three-game road sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

Chavez (3-1, 2.44 ERA) has been superb in his eight starts, striking out 51 and walking 12 in 51 2-3 innings.

"It's what he's been doing all year for us," Melvin told MLB's official website. " ... He throws the ball where he wants to. He's focused and taking advantage of this opportunity."

The right-hander allowed two runs in a career-high eight-plus innings of a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday, earning praise from White Sox manager Robin Ventura.

"He throws a lot of strikes," Ventura said. "Either you're going to have to swing at them or it's probably going to be strike three really quick."

Chavez has compiled an 8.49 ERA in 10 relief appearances against the Indians (19-24) going into his first career start in the series. However, he may have a favorable matchup in a Cleveland team that's been outscored 21-5 during a three-game losing streak.

''That's just the luck of the draw we're having right now,'' Indians reliever Marc Rzepczynski said. ''But starting a homestand with two losses to Oakland, you definitely didn't want that to happen.''

The A's (27-16) will be looking for Chavez to go deep into Sunday's contest after Scott Kazmir was ejected in the second inning of a 6-2 victory Saturday. Dan Otero, Fernando Abad, Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle stepped up to throw 7 2-3 innings of one-run ball.

Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss went a combined 5 for 7 and drove in all six runs for Oakland. Donaldson has gone 7 for 15 with three homers and nine RBIs over the last four games.

"I think that kind of inspired us a little bit," said Donaldson, whose team has won eight of nine by a combined 58-15 score. "I don't take that lightly when you throw our starting pitcher out in the second inning."

The A's will try to stay hot against Masterson (2-2, 4.31), who had won back-to-back home starts before yielding five runs over 5 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 5-4 loss at Toronto.

While Masterson owns a 5.55 ERA on the road, he's posted a 2.05 mark over his last four home outings.

The right-hander has gone 2-6 with a 6.97 ERA in nine career starts against the A's, but threw seven innings of three-hit ball in a 2-0 win at Oakland on opening day March 31.

Masterson has baffled several of Oakland's hitters, including Josh Reddick (4 for 21), Alberto Callaspo (4 for 23), Jed Lowrie (2 for 14) and Donaldson (1 for 12). Coco Crisp and John Jaso are a combined 9 for 27 with four homers against him, though.

The Indians could get a much-needed offensive boost from veteran designated hitter Jason Giambi (strained right calf), who will likely be activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

''I know we're kind of sputtering,'' Giambi said. ''We get that little glimmer and then it kind of falls apart. We have to keep our heads above water until we hit that good winning streak.''

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Oakland2nd AL West8570.54810 ½ 4-6 W 1
Cleveland3rd AL Central8174.52355-5 W 2
 
 
Injuries
Oakland
PlayerInjury
K. BlanksAchilles
C. GentryHead
A. GriffinElbow
J. JasoConcussion
J. LowrieFoot
J. ParkerElbow
Cleveland
PlayerInjury
N. MorganKnee
R. RaburnKnee
N. SwisherKnee
Z. WaltersIntercostal
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 21CLECLE 4-3McAllister Guthrie 
Apr 22CLEKC 8-2Shields Salazar 
Apr 23CLECLE 5-3Shaw Herrera 
Apr 24CLECLE 5-1Kluber Chen 
Jun 10KCKC 9-5Vargas Kluber 
Jun 11KCKC 4-1Ventura Bauer 
Jul 4CLEKC 7-1Ventura Tomlin 
Jul 5CLECLE 7-3House Guthrie 
Jul 6CLECLE 4-1Kluber Duffy 
Jul 24KCKC 2-1Crow Rzepczynski 
Jul 25KCKC 6-4Herrera Carrasco 
Jul 26KCKC 7-5Guthrie McAllister 
Jul 27KCCLE 10-3Salazar Chen 
Aug 29KCCLE 6-1Salazar Vargas 
Aug 30KCCLE 3-2Tomlin Downs 
Aug 31KCPPD   
Sep 22KC 6:05 PM EDT  
Sep 22CLE 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 23CLE 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 24CLE 7:05 PM EDT