|Cleveland (20-19) «||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||x||4||7||0|
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are trying to mix in some timely hitting with their stellar starting pitching and strong defense.
The Indians got seven hits, only one fewer than they had in a doubleheader split Monday night with Toronto after which manager Eric Wedge blasted his hitters for poor preparation at the plate.
"It was better, they had tougher at-bats and it was good to see (Travis) Hafner help us out," Wedge said.
Cleveland's designated hitter came in hitting .179 (7-for-39) in his previous 13 games. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lift his overall average to .223.
Byrd (2-3) allowed five hits over 7 1/3 innings, striking out a season-high seven without a walk.
The right-hander extended the Indians' scoreless streak to 34 innings by their starting staff. The last run allowed by a Cleveland starter came Friday night in the fifth inning against Toronto by C.C. Sabathia -- the only run yielded by an Indians starter in the past 39 innings.
"I definitely had a little pressure on me," Byrd said. "It was like I'm a loser if I give up one run."
Wedge wishes Cleveland's hitters would feed off one another's success as well as the pitchers and fielders are doing.
"It's a friendly competition," Wedge said of the starting staff's streak. "(They) try to keep one-upping one another."
Rafael Perez retired the only Oakland batter he faced and Masahide Kobayashi worked the final 1 2/3 innings for his first save. The 33-year-old right-hander, signed as a free agent in November, had 227 saves the last eight seasons in Japan.
Byrd's performance came after Cliff Lee pitched nine scoreless innings Monday night in the second game following Fausto Carmona's five-hitter in the opener. Before a rainout Sunday, lefty starter Aaron Laffey pitched seven innings in a 12-0 victory Saturday.
"All we ask is to give us a chance to win, but they're going above the call of duty," Wedge said.
So is second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, who turned the 14th unassisted triple play in history Monday, and again brought the crowd to its feet with a spectacular play. The 22-year-old ran into center field to snare a looping ball off the bat of Bobby Crosby to start the eighth.
"I didn't think there was any way he'd get to that ball," Wedge said. "Incredible."
It was one of several fine plays in support of Byrd.
"My boxscore is going to look great in the paper, but it's because of those guys," Byrd said. "I just kept fist-pumping after every one. If they don't make those plays, who knows how many runs I give up?"
In the second, Grady Sizemore fielded Crosby's two-out single to center and threw out Frank Thomas trying to score from second. Catcher Victor Martinez tagged the 39-year-old DH, whose awkward slide stopped well short of the plate.
"With two outs, you've got to go for it," Oakland manager Bob Geren said when asked why the lumbering Thomas was waved around third. "It was a good throw, right on the money."
Byrd got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fifth by striking out Murphy and with the runners in motion, Martinez threw out Crosby trying to steal second.
Sizemore robbed Kurt Suzuki leading off the sixth, making a diving catch of a short fly ball in left-center.
Duchscherer allowed one run and fanned six in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander retired 13 in a row after Hafner's hit before Sizemore began the sixth with a single.
|Are you noticing a pattern? Paul Byrd and his fellow starters have put up 34 consecutive goose eggs. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kurt Suzuki, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.248|
|Daric Barton, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.230|
|Jack Cust, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.252|
|Frank Thomas, DH||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.217|
|Emil Brown, RF||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.277|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.247|
|Bobby Crosby, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.253|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF||2||0||2||0||0||0||2||.279|
|a- Mike Sweeney, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.318|
|Rajai Davis, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.190|
|Donnie Murphy, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.214|
|a-grounded out for Sweeney in the 8th|
|CS - Bobby Crosby (2, 3rd base by Byrd/Martinez)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Justin Duchscherer (L,3-2)||6.2||4||1||1||2||6||0||2.20|
|IBB - Martinez by Justin Duchscherer|
|HBP - Blake (by Justin Duchscherer)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Justin Duchscherer 110-64, Alan Embree 24-13, Andrew Brown 9-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Duchscherer 6-8, Alan Embree 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Justin Duchscherer 27, Alan Embree 5, Andrew Brown 3|
|Grady Sizemore, CF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.273|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.202|
|David Dellucci, LF||3||1||0||0||1||0||0||.245|
|Victor Martinez, C||2||1||1||0||2||0||0||.345|
|Travis Hafner, DH||4||1||2||1||0||1||2||.223|
|Ryan Garko, 1B||4||1||1||3||0||0||2||.231|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.202|
|Franklin Gutierrez, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.244|
|Casey Blake, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.223|
|HR - Ryan Garko (3, A. Brown)|
|RBI - Travis Hafner (18), Ryan Garko 3 (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Travis Hafner (10), Ryan Garko 3 (9)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Grady Sizemore 1|
|DP - Martinez-Blake|
|Paul Byrd (W,2-3)||7.1||5||0||0||0||7||0||3.61|
|Rafael Perez (H,5)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.78|
|Masahide Kobayashi (S,1)||1.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||1.93|
|Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 92-64, Rafael Perez 3-2, Masahide Kobayashi 20-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 7-6, Rafael Perez 1-0, Masahide Kobayashi 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 25, Rafael Perez 1, Masahide Kobayashi 5|
|Attendance - 16974|
|Game Time - 2:33|
|Temperature - 59|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Paul Emmel|