CLEVELAND -- Carl Pavano knows about bouncing back from adversity. He thinks the Cleveland Indians can too.
Pavano (7-7) earned his first win in five starts, while No. 8 and 9 hitters Luis Valbuena and Ben Francisco went a combined 6 for 6 to help Cleveland defeat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Saturday.
"It feels great to win a couple in a row," said Pavano after the Indians earned their second consecutive win for the first time since June 11-12. Cleveland's fourth win in 17 games overall stretched its winning streak to six against the Athletics since April 12, 2008.
"Carl was really good, using all his pitches," Indians manager Eric Wedge said after the right-hander allowed two runs and eight hits over 6 2/3 innings to improve to 1-3 since pitching a shutout against the Chicago White Sox on June 5.
That gave the 33-year-old 99 innings pitched this season -- more than double his total for his last three seasons in New York and the most since he worked 100 innings in 2005 for the Yankees.
"I feel good, but there's still a half season to go," Pavano said. "We're starting to get our lineup back together and we've got to keep pushing forward."
Francisco hit a two-run homer and Grady Sizemore a solo shot for Cleveland while Kerry Wood worked the ninth for his first save since June 23 and 10th in 14 chances overall.
Orlando Cabrera, whose 14-game hitting streak was snapped Friday, had three hits and an RBI for Oakland, which has lost eight of 10 and is last in the AL West.
"We had eight hits, but they were all singles," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "Obviously, a couple home runs from them was the big difference. Keeping the ball in the ballpark is a good recipe for a pitcher. They did that."
Oakland took a 1-0 lead on a first-inning sacrifice fly by Matt Holliday. The Athletics left the bases loaded when third baseman Jhonny Peralta made a leaping catch of a line drive by Ryan Sweeney that would have scored more.
"I had some great plays behind me," Pavano said. "Balls caught tonight found holes in other games."
Cleveland went ahead 3-1 in the third on an RBI single by Valbuena and two-run homer by Francisco -- his first since May 27 and sixth overall.
"I've always said that when we have our guys healthy, we're capable of hitting one through nine in the order," said Wedge, who used 76 different lineups in Cleveland's first 81 games.
Sizemore, whose 11th homer gave Cleveland a 4-1 lead in the sixth, believes the last-place Indians can still get back into the AL Central race.
"There's a half season left and we have the talent to put a run together," Sizemore said.
Both teams turned in good defensive plays.
The Athletics stopped a Cleveland threat in the fifth when Valbuena singled with one out and tried to score from first on a double by Francisco off the left-field wall. But shortstop Orlando Cabrera took the throw from center fielder Ryan Sweeney and relayed the ball home, where catcher Kurt Suzuki blocked the plate and tagged out Valbuena.
In the second, Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis turned a line drive by Travis Hafner into a double play by making a driving catch, easily doubling off Shin-Soo Choo from first base. In the eighth, Choo made a diving catch in right of pinch-hitter Nomar Garciaparra's bid for extra bases.
Cabrera's run-scoring single in the seventh got Oakland within 4-2 and gave the veteran a .355 (11-for-31) career average against Pavano.
Sizemore drove in another run with a broken-bat grounder in the seventh.
Mazzaro had allowed only one homer in six previous career starts since being called up June 2. The right-hander allowed five runs and eight hits over six-plus innings and fell to 0-4 in his last five starts.
"The guys at the bottom of the order got me," Mazzaro said. "I did a pretty decent with the middle of the order. That's going to happen. I left the ball up too many times. It was probably my approach."
Cleveland C Victor Martinez was 0 for 4 and is on a 4-for-46 (.087) slump. ... When Cleveland OF Shin-Soo Choo had four runs, seven RBI and a stolen base Friday night, he became the third player to do it since 1945, joining Hall of Famers Ted Williams (1949) and Willie Stargell (1968) according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Oakland C Kurt Suzuki, a candidate to make the AL All-Star team, has hit .362 (21-for-58) over his last 17 games.