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Cust hammers fifth home run in four days with walk-off for A's

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jack Cust capped off a memorable week with one more powerful swing.

Cust homered for the fourth straight day and hit his sixth in seven games since joining Oakland, capping a five-run ninth inning with a three-run drive that gave the Athletics a 10-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

"I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunity and make a contribution somehow," Cust said.

Cust has done much more than that since being acquired from San Diego on May 3 in a little noticed deal for a player to be named or cash. But with Mike Piazza on the disabled list with an injured shoulder, the A's called Cust up to be their regular designated hitter.

He homered in his first game May 6 at Tampa Bay, then hit two last Thursday against Kansas City before homering in each of the three games against Cleveland. His six homers in his first 26 at-bats with the team is an Oakland record.

"It's unbelievable," Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis said. "I've been hitting behind him these last couple of games. His swing is so powerful. The way the ball jumps off his bat is incredible. It's been fun to watch, and he's been huge for us. He's really impressive."

Cust only got the opportunity because of a rally his teammates put together after Joe Borowski (0-2) retired the first two batters in the ninth inning. Borowski then got in front of Eric Chavez 0-2 before allowing a groundball single through the right side.

"He had a great at-bat," A's reliever Alan Embree said. "That was the inning right there. It was like he willed it to happen."

Milton Bradley then tied the score with his second homer this season, a drive to right.

"I love being in those situations," said Bradley, who spent parts of three seasons with Cleveland. "I have all the confidence in the world. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a little extra incentive doing it against the Indians."

Dan Johnson and Bobby Crosby followed with consecutive singles that knocked out Borowski, who blew his second save in 14 opportunities this season.

Cust greeted Fernando Cabrera with yet his sixth homer in 26 at-bats since being acquired by Oakland from San Diego on May 3. The A's poured out of the dugout to mob Cust as he crossed home plate following his first career game-ending home run.

"He's come up and he's in one of those zones now and obviously he did a good job against us," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.

Cust's homer came off his regular bat, not one of the special pink ones most of the players were using on Mother's Day. He was called up too late to get a special bat.

"They don't have pink bats in Triple-A on Mothers' Day," Cust said.

Jay Witasick (1-0) struck out Josh Barfield to end the top of the ninth with two on and got the win.

The A's have won seven straight home series against the Indians and taken 15 of 21 games from them at the Coliseum over the past five seasons.

"It's frustrating," Borowski said. "Everybody did their jobs today except for one person ... me. You're supposed to come away winning the series and instead you go back home not winning it so it's frustrating."

The Indians appeared ready to end that streak when they broke out to a 5-1 lead in the third inning. They put runners on first and third with one out in the first against Chad Gaudin and loaded the bases with no outs in the second but only scored on Mike Rouse's forceout.

Gaudin was unable to avoid trouble in a four-run third. Travis Hafner walked and Victor Martinez singled to open the inning before Nixon's double gave the Indians a 2-1 lead. David Dellucci added an RBI single, Barfield hit a run-scoring groundout and the fourth run of the inning scored when second baseman Mark Ellis bobbled a grounder by Rouse then threw the ball away for two errors on the same play.

Casey Blake and Hafner added RBI hits in the sixth against Jay Marshall to extend Cleveland's lead to 7-4, but Chavez's solo homer in the seventh off Tom Mastny started Oakland's comeback. Crosby also hit a solo home run for the A's, who have 19 homers in May after hitting 18 in April.

Notes

  • Gaudin allowed five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, the first time in nine starts this season he's allowed more than three earned runs. He has not given up a homer to his last 181 batters, spanning 42 innings.
  • Cleveland starter Cliff Lee allowed four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.
  • Johnson's single in the ninth extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Jack Cust comes up big again for the A's, this time with a walk-off home run against the Indians.  (AP)
Jack Cust comes up big again for the A's, this time with a walk-off home run against the Indians. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

J. Cust
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Cleveland

C. Blake
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4110011 .239
Casey Blake, 3B5121013 .252
Travis Hafner, 1B3111210 .279
    Kelly Shoppach, C0000000 .257
Victor Martinez, C-1B5120002 .324
Trot Nixon, RF3211101 .287
   a- Jason Michaels, PH-RF1000011 .258
Ryan Garko, DH5030003 .307
David Dellucci, LF5121023 .261
Josh Barfield, 2B5011025 .212
Mike Rouse, SS4001002 .161
Totals40713638  
a-struck out for Nixon in the 9th
Batting
2B - Casey Blake (10, Marshall), Trot Nixon (6, Gaudin), Ryan Garko (3, Gaudin)
3B - Casey Blake (1, Gaudin)
RBI - Casey Blake (15), Travis Hafner (25), Trot Nixon (16), David Dellucci (4), Josh Barfield (13), Mike Rouse (2)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Rouse-Barfield-Hafner
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee 5744341 4.50
Thomas Mastny (H,3) 1.2211011 3.31
Aaron Fultz (H,7) 0.1000000 2.19
Rafael Betancourt (H,6) 1100010 2.45
Joe Borowski (BS,2; L,0-2) 0.2444001 9.00
Fernando Cabrera0111001 3.24
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 94-56, Thomas Mastny 32-20, Aaron Fultz 6-4, Rafael Betancourt 16-10, Joe Borowski 30-18, Fernando Cabrera 2-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 4-7, Thomas Mastny 1-2, Rafael Betancourt 1-1
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 25, Thomas Mastny 6, Aaron Fultz 1, Rafael Betancourt 4, Joe Borowski 6, Fernando Cabrera 1
Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF5021000 .257
Nick Swisher, RF5020000 .286
Eric Chavez, 3B5221025 .255
Milton Bradley, CF4123000 .277
Dan Johnson, 1B4110101 .397
Bobby Crosby, SS5221013 .240
Jack Cust, DH4223120 .346
Mark Ellis, 2B3110112 .243
Jason Kendall, C3111001 .187
   a- Travis Buck, PH1000001 .213
    Adam Melhuse, C0000000 .125
Totals3910151036  
a-grounded out for Kendall in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jack Cust (1, Lee)
HR - Eric Chavez (5, Mastny), Milton Bradley (2, Borowski), Bobby Crosby (4, Lee), Jack Cust (6, Cabrera)
SF - Milton Bradley (1)
RBI - Shannon Stewart (12), Eric Chavez (20), Milton Bradley 3 (6), Bobby Crosby (13), Jack Cust 3 (14), Jason Kendall (9)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Chavez (8), Milton Bradley 2 (4), Bobby Crosby (4), Jack Cust 3 (7)
SB - Milton Bradley (1, 2nd base off Fultz/Martinez)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Ellis-Crosby-Johnson
E - Mark Ellis 2 (4, Throwing), Dan Johnson (2, Dropped fly)
Oakland Athletics
Chad Gaudin 4.2854340 2.93
Jay Marshall 2.1322000 5.63
Alan Embree 1.2200030 3.24
Jay Witasick (W,1-0) 0.1000010 3.27
HBP - Sizemore (by Chad Gaudin)
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Gaudin 109-66, Jay Marshall 25-21, Alan Embree 37-24, Jay Witasick 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Gaudin 10-0, Jay Marshall 4-3, Alan Embree 2-0
Batters Faced - Chad Gaudin 26, Jay Marshall 10, Alan Embree 7, Jay Witasick 1
Game Information
Attendance - 24692
Game Time - 3:27
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski