CLEVELAND -- While their embattled manager received some good news, it was another disappointing day for the Cleveland Indians.
Before Sunday's game with Oakland, Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said manager Eric Wedge will keep his job for the rest of the season, even though Cleveland has the worst record in the AL. The announcement came after the Indians recorded back-to-back victories for the first time since June 11-12.
The positive news for Wedge ended once the game started. Gio Gonzalez pitched six strong innings for his first win of the season and the Athletics beat the Indians 5-2. The loss sent Cleveland its 50th defeat of the season and the Indians have dropped 14 of 18.
"We've had a tough first half," Wedge said. "My job is to be out front and take the heat. I take full responsibility for all of this."
Shapiro gave no assurances that Wedge will return for the final year of his contract next season, but for now any question about the manager's status is gone from the clubhouse.
"He's a great manager," said catcher Victor Martinez, the Indians' only representative for the AL All-Star team. "He's always been there for us as a team."
The day also brought mixed results for Martinez, who grounded out as a pinch-hitter to end the game and is in a 4-for-47 slump.
Most of the day's good news belong to the Athletics, who avoided being swept in the three-game series between the league's two worst teams. Gonzalez (1-2) allowed two runs, six hits, and struck out a career-high eight for his second career victory and first since Aug. 12 of last season when he defeated Tampa Bay.
Rookie Andrew Bailey, Oakland's lone representative on the All-Star team, recorded the final four outs for his ninth save in 13 chances, extending his scoreless inning streak to 10 2/3 innings covering nine appearances.
"I didn't feel any extra pressure," said Bailey, who was told he made the team before the game. "It was in the back of mind, but I still had a job to do."
Bailey made the Athletics in spring training as a non-roster player after spending all of last season at Double-A Midland.
"He came to camp with an outside chance to make the team and climbed the ladder in the bullpen to where he's closing out games in half a season," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "He's gone from pitching in the Arizona Fall League in front of a couple hundred people to making the All-Star team."
Cliff Lee (4-8) allowed three runs in six innings. The left-hander, last season's AL Cy Young Award winner, hasn't won since June 14 when he pitched a three-hit shutout against St. Louis.
Gonzalez, in his third stint with Oakland this season, was up to the task of out-pitching Lee.
"It was a challenge," Gonzalez said. "It was fun watching him pitch and going against him."
Lee's frustrating season continued.
"It was one of those games where I had to battle," he said. "They fouled off a lot of pitches. They made me work."
Lee threw 30 pitches in the sixth when the A's scored to take a 2-1 lead on Matt Holliday's single. Rajai Davis drew a leadoff walk, took second on a sacrifice and went to third on a groundout. Suzuki walked on a 3-2 pitch before Holliday singled through the right side.
Oakland added a run in the sixth on Adam Kennedy's sacrifice fly.
- A's 1B/DH Jason Giambi, in a 4-for-37 slump, didn't start against Lee.
- Kennedy and OF Jack Cust were the only left-handed hitters in Oakland's lineup.
- The Athletics will face RHPs John Smoltz, Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield when they open a three-game series in Boston on Monday.
- LHP Aaron Laffey, who has been out since May 22 with a pulled muscle in his side, will start for the Indians in Chicago on Wednesday night.
- RHP Hector Rondon, Cleveland's top pitching prospect, had been promoted from Double-A Akron to Triple-A Columbus.
- The Indians are off Monday before starting a road trip to Chicago and Detroit.
- Cleveland will play only five more home games in July.