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Oakland at Cleveland

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Oakland (23-19)010000001280
Cleveland (22-19) «10200010x491

Shutout streak for Indians starters ends; win streak continues vs. A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- It wasn't even a bad pitch that ended the Cleveland Indians' scoreless streak.

An unearned run against Aaron Laffey on his own throwing error halted the starting rotation's run of 44 1/3 consecutive shutout innings, but didn't interrupt their string of dominant outings.

Laffey pitched the Indians to a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, completing a three-game sweep and giving the surging Indians eight victories in 10 games.

"When you talk about five guys -- to do it day in and day out it's impressive," Laffey said. "It's just been an incredible week of starting pitching for us."

Cleveland completed a 6-1 homestand in which it allowed runs in just four of 64 innings. The starters went 6-0 with a 0.16 ERA and haven't allowed an earned run in 50 1/3 innings.

In the rotation because of an injury to Jake Westbrook, Laffey (2-2) allowed just the unearned run and five hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked one. He lowered his ERA to 1.35 and has gone seven innings in each of his past three starts without giving up an earned run.

Cleveland's scoreless streak, which began last Friday, ended in the second when Laffey charged Rob Bowen's weak grounder and threw it into right field, allowing Bobby Crosby to score from second.

"When it's an error like, that it's kind of disappointing, especially to break a streak like that," Laffey said. "I had a lot more time than I thought I did. I just kind of rushed and let go of the ball too early. It went flying; I almost threw it to second base."

The streak was the longest by Cleveland's starters since Bob Lemon, Gene Bearden, Sam Zoldak and Satchel Paige strung together 47 scoreless innings in August 1948 -- all threw complete game shutouts. It was the longest by a major league team in one season since a 54-inning streak by Baltimore's starters from Sept. 1-7, 1974, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jhonny Peralta homered for the Indians, who on Wednesday moved into the AL Central lead for the first time since the opening week of the season.

Oakland has lost five of six after winning four straight.

"We've run into some pitching," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We've played good defense and pitched very well. We just haven't scored any runs."

The A's loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Rafael Betancourt. Masa Kobayashi relieved and threw a run-scoring wild pitch, then struck out pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney, who pumped a fist in frustration. Kobayashi then fanned pinch-hitter Ryan Sweeney for his second save in two chances.

Indians manager Eric Wedge pulled Betancourt because he was having trouble with his location. Betancourt gave up three runs Tuesday against Toronto and took the Indians' only loss during the homestand.

Wedge said he hadn't yet thought about whether Kobayashi, who had 227 saves in nine seasons in Japan, would replace Betancourt as Cleveland's closer.

Rookie Greg Smith (2-3) gave up three runs, seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven. He has lost three straight decisions.

"I was inconsistent. The fastball would locate sometimes, other times it wasn't there," Smith said. "The next thing I know I am at 100 pitches."

Ryan Garko's RBI double in the first was offset by the unearned run, which ended a streak of 24 scoreless innings for the A's in Cleveland.

Ben Francisco and Travis Hafner put Cleveland ahead 3-1 with RBI singles in the third, and Peralta homered in the seventh off Santiago Casilla, who left after facing only one batter. Casilla has a strain in his elbow area and will be checked out Friday in Atlanta, Geren said.

Notes

  • The Indians won the season series 5-4.
  • A's 2B Mark Ellis remains day to day with a strained left hamstring.
  • Hafner got his seventh career stolen base in the fifth inning.
  • The Indians, who have played 17 of their past 20 games at home, go on road for six games against Cincinnati and the Chicago White Sox.
  • Thursday was the 27th anniversary of Len Barker's perfect game for Cleveland.
  • The American flag flew at half-staff in recognition of National Peace Officer's Memorial Day.
  • About 8,000 children from 100 schools were in attendance.
 
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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Aaron Laffey becomes the first Indians starter to give up a run in nearly 45 innings but gets the win.  (AP)
Aaron Laffey becomes the first Indians starter to give up a run in nearly 45 innings but gets the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

J. Peralta
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Cleveland

A. Laffey
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
 
Oakland Athletics
Rajai Davis, CF4010011 .200
Daric Barton, 1B4000031 .224
Emil Brown, RF4010001 .269
Frank Thomas, DH3020100 .222
Jack Cust, LF4110004 .243
Bobby Crosby, SS4120000 .261
Jack Hannahan, 3B3010100 .245
Donnie Murphy, 2B3000032 .208
   a- Mike Sweeney, PH1000012 .323
Rob Bowen, C3000000 .167
   b- Ryan Sweeney, PH1000012 .276
Totals3428029  
a-struck out for Murphy in the 9th
b-struck out for Bowen in the 9th
Batting
SB - Rajai Davis (7, 2nd base off Lewis/Shoppach)
CS - Rajai Davis (1, 2nd base by Laffey/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Crosby-Murphy-Barton
Oakland Athletics
Greg Smith (L,2-3) 4.2733370 3.26
Joey Devine 1.1000030 0.55
Santiago Casilla0111001 0.93
Chad Gaudin 1100110 3.46
Huston Street 1000000 3.63
HBP - Sizemore (by Greg Smith)
WP - Greg Smith (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Smith 102-64, Joey Devine 15-11, Santiago Casilla 1-1, Chad Gaudin 22-13, Huston Street 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Smith 3-3, Chad Gaudin 1-0, Huston Street 2-1
Batters Faced - Greg Smith 24, Joey Devine 4, Santiago Casilla 1, Chad Gaudin 4, Huston Street 3
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3100031 .268
Jhonny Peralta, SS3321101 .221
Ben Francisco, LF4031001 .344
Ryan Garko, 1B4011013 .234
Travis Hafner, DH2011211 .222
Franklin Gutierrez, RF4000025 .236
Kelly Shoppach, C4010024 .236
Jamey Carroll, 2B3000111 .175
Andy Marte, 3B4010011 .115
Totals31494411  
Batting
2B - Ryan Garko (7, Smith)
HR - Jhonny Peralta (7, Casilla)
RBI - Jhonny Peralta (14), Ben Francisco (5), Ryan Garko (18), Travis Hafner (19)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Garko (11)
SB - Jhonny Peralta (2, 2nd base off Smith/Bowen), Travis Hafner (1, 2nd base off Smith/Bowen)
CS - Andy Marte (1, 2nd base by Smith/Bowen)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Carroll-Peralta-Garko
E - Aaron Laffey (1, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Aaron Laffey (W,2-2) 7510160 1.35
Jensen Lewis (H,3) 1100010 2.82
Rafael Betancourt (H,3) 0.1211100 7.31
Masahide Kobayashi (S,2) 0.2000020 1.86
WP - Masahide Kobayashi (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Laffey 100-60, Jensen Lewis 20-14, Rafael Betancourt 25-17, Masahide Kobayashi 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Laffey 5-9, Jensen Lewis 1-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Laffey 26, Jensen Lewis 4, Rafael Betancourt 4, Masahide Kobayashi 2
Game Information
Attendance - 26764
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 52
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Jerry Meals