Oakland at Cleveland

W: P. Byrd (7-3) L: R. Flores (0-2)
S: J. Borowski (22)
HR: OAK - D. Johnson (7)   CLE - J. Michaels (6)

Michaels' three-run shot helps Indians hold off A's

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Jason Michaels can find a lot of ways to win a ballgame. Playing long ball isn't usually one of them.

"I'm not a home run hitter," he said.

The Oakland Athletics might beg to differ. Michaels hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Cleveland Indians held off the A's 4-3 Thursday.

The Indians trailed 3-1 when Michaels hit his sixth home run. He connected off Ron Flores (0-2), sending a drive into the bleachers in left-center field that extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

"I was looking for something in the middle of the plate," he said. "I was trying to hit the ball up the middle."

Ironically, an ill-advised throw by Michaels from left field helped Oakland's ninth-inning threat against closer Joe Borowski.

The Athletics put runners on second and third with one out, but Shannon Stewart -- 10-for-20 in the four-game series -- popped out and Mark Kotsay flied out, giving Borowski his 22nd save in 24 chances.

"I'm not happy going 1-3 here," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "We just didn't get it done."

Dan Johnson homered, doubled and singled twice for Oakland, which held an early 3-0 lead. The Athletics fell to 1-6 on their nine-game road trip.

"It's tough to win a four-game series, especially against a starting staff like that," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "I'm pleased with the way we've played this series."

Johnson singled to start the ninth. One out later, Jason Kendall singled to left and Michaels threw late to third base, allowing Kendall to easily take second. After the play, Michaels stood in the outfield shaking his head.

Asked when he realized his mistake, Michaels said, "When the ball was about an inch from my hand. I know a lot better than that."

Paul Byrd (7-3) allowed three runs in seven innings in winning for the first time since May 30. The right-hander gave up 10 hits, struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

"It's been too long," he said of the gap between wins.

Byrd, who allowed six hits in the first two innings, hadn't pitched seven innings since May 20, a stretch of seven starts.

"I don't know if you guys noticed, but I got through the seventh inning," he said. "It might be the sign of the end of an age."

A's starter Joe Blanton took a 3-1 lead into the seventh. Kelly Shoppach led off with a single and Josh Barfield hit a line drive that fell in front of right fielder Nick Swisher. Unsure if the ball would drop, Shoppach got a late break off first and was forced out at second.

Following Casey Blake's pinch-hit single, Flores relieved Blanton. Grady Sizemore hit a long drive to right-center that Swisher caught -- he held onto the ball despite falling to the ground and hitting the wall.

The good defense went for naught when Michaels homered.

"It was supposed to be a fastball inside," Flores said. "I feel bad for Joe."

The A's bullpen, which is without injured setup men Justin Duchscherer and Kiko Calero and closer Huston Street, has been struggling. Alan Embree gave up five runs in the ninth inning in Tuesday night's 8-5 loss.

"It's no secret our bullpen has been wearing it," Flores said. "Hopefully, it's just a rough patch."

Johnson led off the second with his seventh home run.

Eric Chavez's infield hit gave Oakland the lead in the first. Stewart and Jack Cust singled and Chavez hit a ground ball over the third base bag that Mike Rouse gloved without a play.

Following Johnson's home run, Bobby Crosby doubled and Kotsay singled.

Sizemore hit an RBI double in the fifth.


  • Byrd has walked two batters in his last 71 2-3 innings, both intentional. His last unintentional walk was on April 26.
  • The Indians placed RHP Roberto Hernandez on waivers Thursday for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. He was designated for assignment on June 20. The 42-year-old Hernandez went 3-1 with 6.23 ERA in 28 games.
  • Oakland RHP Rich Harden threw bullpen sessions Wednesday and Thursday. He's scheduled to throw two innings in relief Friday or Saturday in New York.
  • The A's have lost 12 of their last 16.
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Jason Michaels puts the Indians ahead in the seventh and extends his hit streak to 11.  (AP)
Jason Michaels puts the Indians ahead in the seventh and extends his hit streak to 11. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Michaels
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

D. Johnson
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF5110004 .291
Mark Kotsay, CF5021003 .242
Nick Swisher, RF4000013 .275
Jack Cust, DH4030000 .287
Eric Chavez, 3B4011012 .243
Mark Ellis, 2B4000002 .270
Dan Johnson, 1B4141000 .269
Bobby Crosby, SS4110003 .235
Jason Kendall, C4010002 .215
2B - Dan Johnson (13, Byrd), Bobby Crosby (15, Byrd)
HR - Dan Johnson (7, Byrd)
RBI - Mark Kotsay (9), Eric Chavez (38), Dan Johnson (28)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Kotsay (4), Eric Chavez (16)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Nick Swisher 1
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton 6.1633130 3.24
Ron Flores (BS,1; L,0-2) 0.1211101 2.93
Ruddy Lugo 1.1000110 11.85
IBB - Hafner by Ron Flores
HBP - Hafner (by Joe Blanton)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 102-60, Ron Flores 15-7, Ruddy Lugo 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 8-8, Ruddy Lugo 3-0
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 27, Ron Flores 4, Ruddy Lugo 5
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4011002 .281
Jason Michaels, LF4113012 .302
Victor Martinez, 1B4020000 .318
Travis Hafner, DH2000101 .257
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000023 .279
Trot Nixon, RF2000102 .237
    Franklin Gutierrez, RF0000100 .273
Kelly Shoppach, C3010001 .380
Josh Barfield, 2B4220002 .266
Mike Rouse, 3B2000011 .118
   a- Casey Blake, PH-3B2110001 .274
a-singled for Rouse in the 7th
2B - Grady Sizemore (15, Blanton), Victor Martinez 2 (18, Blanton, Flores)
HR - Jason Michaels (6, Flores)
SH - Kelly Shoppach (1)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (37), Jason Michaels 3 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore (21), Jason Michaels 3 (17)
SB - Josh Barfield 2 (8, 2nd base off Blanton/Kendall, 3rd base off Blanton/Kendall)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Barfield-Peralta-Martinez, Barfield-Peralta-Martinez
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (W,7-3) 71033021 4.67
Rafael Betancourt (H,16) 1100000 1.31
Joe Borowski (S,22) 1200000 5.90
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 97-75, Rafael Betancourt 7-5, Joe Borowski 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 10-8, Rafael Betancourt 2-0
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 30, Rafael Betancourt 3, Joe Borowski 5
Game Information
Attendance - 22921
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Gerry Davis