CLEVELAND -- Dan Haren walked over to the stereo, skipped to a CD track of his liking, pushed play and smiled. Soon, there were heads bobbing to the beat in every corner of Oakland's clubhouse.
Haren didn't mind taking over as DJ. Whatever the Athletics needed, he was more than willing to give them.
Haren limited baseball's hottest team to four singles in 6 2/3 innings and pushed Oakland closer in the AL playoff race as the A's beat Cleveland 2-0 Monday night, stopping the Indians' seven-game winning streak.
Haren (13-10) made sure the A's took the opener of a three-game series they can't afford to lose. Oakland, a major league-best 36-20 since the All-Star break, beat C.C. Sabathia (13-10) to pull within one game of the first-place Angels in the AL West and 1½ games of the wild card-leading Indians.
"By far, it's the happiest I've been after a win all year," said Haren, who lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his previous start, a no-decision against Seattle. "With Sabathia on the mound, I knew I had to step it up tonight. I'm happy for my team. That's the way I'm supposed to pitch because these games are so, so important."
The A's made three errors but did just enough offensively to hand Sabathia his first loss since July 30. Jason Kendall hit an RBI single in the third off the left-hander, and Mark Kotsay delivered a sacrifice fly in the seventh against reliever Scott Sauerbeck.
"We had a little ragged play," Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "But the pitching raised it up a little bit."
Cleveland, 19-7 since Aug. 16, has a one-game edge over the New York Yankees, who open a three-game set on Tuesday at Tampa Bay.
Sabathia won his previous seven starts, but he wasn't as sharp this time and constantly had to work out of trouble because of five walks. He allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings.
"I didn't have the command I had in the last month or month and a half," he said. "I had to battle the whole time I was out there. It seemed like I was in trouble every inning. I didn't pitch my game."
After Rincon's one-out error, Duchscherer came in and struck out Coco Crisp, who came in batting an AL-best .341 against right-handers. Street worked a perfect ninth for his 21st save, completing the combined four-hitter.
"We used a lot of pitchers," Macha said. "I needed to make sure we got 27 outs and the ballgame. If it takes 10 pitchers, then let's do it."
The A's -- who trailed the Los Angeles Angels by two games in the AL West coming in -- loaded the bases against reliever Arthur Rhodes in the seventh. Dan Johnson walked, Mark Ellis doubled and Kendall was hit by a pitch.
Kotsay followed with his sacrifice fly off Sauerbeck to make it 2-0, and the A's reloaded the bases when Eric Chavez walked. But reliever Rafael Betancourt kept the Indians within two by striking out Jay Payton.
Sabathia got away with a walk in each of the first two innings, but the one-out pass he issued to No. 9 hitter Marco Scutaro cost him in the third. Scutaro stole second as Ellis struck out and scored on Kendall's hit.
The Indians' best scoring chance came in the fifth when they got Aaron Boone to third with one out against Haren. But Casey Blake pulled a grounder right at the bag, forcing Boone to stay at third, and Grady Sizemore flied out.
"The story for us was we were never able to get anything going," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We swung at a lot of pitches that were out of the zone. He was throwing a sweeping breaking ball in there and did a good job with his fastball."
- The A's are 3-1 on a 10-game trip.
- The Indians didn't homer for the first time in 11 games.
- Since the All-Star break, Ellis is batting .357 (64-for-179).
- The Indians have the league leader in ERA (Kevin Millwood, 3.11) saves (Bob Wickman, 39) and winning percentage (Cliff Lee, .800).
- Chavez went 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts and is batting .183 (11-for-60) in his last 15 games.
- Crisp was selected the AL's top player last week, beating out five other Indians who were nominated for the award after Cleveland went 7-0.
- The A's stopped a four-game losing streak and won for just the third time in 13 games at Jacobs Field.