Oakland at Cleveland

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Oakland (18-18)000001010272
Cleveland (18-14) «23103000x9120

Indians complete sweep of A's with convincing win

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- Everything is going the Indians' way. There's no dispute or debate about that.

One day after the home run that wasn't, Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds connected for homers and Scott Kazmir struck out 10 in six innings, leading Cleveland to a 9-2 win over Oakland on Thursday and a four-game sweep of the Athletics.

The Indians ended the series with a convincing blowout, only hours after they won 4-3 with the help of a blown call in the ninth inning when umpires, after watching a video replay, ruled that an apparent tying home run by Oakland's Adam Rosales was a double.

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Major League Baseball acknowledged the umpires made an "improper call," but executive vice president Joe Torre said the "judgment" decision is final.

There was no argument on Thursday as the Indians put a resounding thumping on the A's and won for the 10th time in 11 games.

"Our starting pitching is giving us a chance to win," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We have a very good bullpen. We're playing well defensively. A lot of guys are contributing offensively. That's a good way to play baseball."

Kipnis hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Bartolo Colon (3-2) for the Indians, who improved to 13-4 since April 20. They got more good news after the game when center fielder Michael Bourn was activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing nearly one month with a cut finger.

Bourn will be ready for a three-game series against first-place Detroit starting Friday.

Kazmir (2-1), who at this time last year wasn't even pitching professionally, allowed one run and five hits. The left-hander has won consecutive starts for the first time since 2010.

"I'm not thinking about last year or what happened before that," Kazmir said. "I'm looking ahead. I'm throwing the ball well right now. I'm feeling better every time out."

Josh Donaldson homered for the A's, who fell to .500 for the first time since April 4 when they were 2-2. Oakland is just 6-14 after starting 12-4.

"They're playing great and can't do anything wrong and we're struggling," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's what happens. What happened last night shouldn't affect today. They just beat us."

The Indians were already leading by six runs when MLB released a statement indicating umpire Angel Hernandez and his crew had erred Wednesday night. After watching a video replay, they failed to reverse a call and gave Rosales a double instead of a homer.

TV replays showed Rosales' shot off Chris Perez had easily cleared the 19-foot-high wall.

"Given what we saw, we recognize that an improper call was made," Torre said. "Perfection is an impossible standard in any endeavor, but our goal is always to get the calls right. Earlier this morning, we began the process of speaking with the crew to thoroughly review all the circumstances surrounding last night's decision."

MLB director of umpires Randy Marsh was sent to Progressive Field for the series finale to inspect the video replay equipment. Marsh did not find any problems and reported his findings to Torre.

Francona was pleased with Torre's ruling, and understand it can be an imperfect game.

"I respect Joe and his statement and I'm glad it stands," Francona said. "All you can ask is guys to do the best they can. They went and checked. Obviously, it wasn't conclusive on what they saw, and so you move on. Those things have a way of evening out."

Francona disagreed with any assertion the decision should be overturned.

"You can't do that," Francona said. "It's not because we won. The rule is in place and you can't change the rules. You do the best you can."

The Indians, who came in leading the AL in homers, took a 2-0 lead in the first on Kipnis' fourth homer, a two-run shot.

Michael Brantley singled to open the first off Colon and Kipnis followed by belting a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall, not far from where Rosales' contested hit landed.

"I was happy that it stayed up there and someone caught it just to make sure there was no confusion about it," Kipnis said.

He added a sacrifice fly in the second, when the Indians tacked on three runs to open a 5-0 lead.

Swisher led off the third by pulling Colon's first pitch over the wall in right for his fifth homer and second in two days. Swisher, who played college ball at Ohio State, was typically animated after rounding the bases. He bashed forearms with Jason Giambi and raised arms to give the "O-H" gesture to Cleveland fans.

The Indians added three runs in the fifth, two coming on Reynolds' AL-leading 11th homer.

Colon gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings. The right-hander, who pitched for the Indians from 1997 to 2002, hadn't faced Cleveland since 2005.

"I felt good," Colon said. "The only problem is the Cleveland team is hot right now."

Notes

  • The Indians entered the series having lost eight straight to Oakland. It was the Indians' first-four game sweep of the A's since 1999.
  • To make room for Bourn, the Indians optioned LHP Scott Barnes to Triple-A Columbus. Barnes snagged a hard comebacker for the final out to finish the sweep.
  • Kazmir had not posted double-digit strikeouts since Aug. 26, 2009 for Tampa.
  • All five of Swisher's homers have been at home.
  • After playing three against the Tigers, the Indians will return home for a doubleheader Monday against the New York Yankees. The teams were rained out twice last month.
  • RHP Vinnie Pestano (sore elbow) is scheduled to resume a throwing program this weekend.
 
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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The Indians win big to finish the series after controversy over a blown Oakland home run call marred Wednesday's victory. (Getty Images)
The Indians win big to finish the series after controversy over a blown Oakland home run call marred Wednesday's victory. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Oakland

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

M. Reynolds
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Adam Rosales, SS-LF3120211 .318
Jed Lowrie, 2B5010003 .300
Yoenis Cespedes, CF3000032 .224
    Eric Sogard, SS1011000 .232
Josh Donaldson, 3B3121100 .302
Luke Montz, DH3000022 .176
   a- John Jaso, PH-DH1000013 .255
Derek Norris, C4000033 .235
Nate Freiman, 1B3000020 .225
   b- Daric Barton, PH-1B1000003 .250
Brandon Moss, RF-CF3000110 .278
Michael Taylor, LF-RF4010011 .063
Totals34272414  
a-struck out for Montz in the 8th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Freiman in the 8th
Batting
HR - Josh Donaldson (4, Kazmir)
RBI - Eric Sogard (3), Josh Donaldson (24)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Donaldson (10)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Nate Freiman (1, Throwing), Brandon Moss (4, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bartolo Colon (L,3-2) 4866042 4.57
Evan Scribner 3333121 5.30
Pat Neshek 1100000 3.21
Pitches-Strikes - Bartolo Colon 83-57, Evan Scribner 61-42, Pat Neshek 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bartolo Colon 2-6, Evan Scribner 3-5, Pat Neshek 1-2
Batters Faced - Bartolo Colon 20, Evan Scribner 14, Pat Neshek 4
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Brantley, LF5120001 .301
Jason Kipnis, 2B4113001 .221
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS3110021 .221
    Mike Aviles, SS1000000 .278
Nick Swisher, RF3111011 .257
    Ryan Raburn, RF1000010 .329
Jason Giambi, DH4111000 .243
Mark Reynolds, 1B3222110 .291
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B4010002 .235
Yan Gomes, C4111002 .216
Drew Stubbs, CF4121011 .264
Totals36912916  
Batting
2B - Asdrubal Cabrera (8, Scribner), Mark Reynolds (6, Colon), Yan Gomes (1, Colon)
HR - Jason Kipnis (4, Colon), Nick Swisher (5, Colon), Mark Reynolds (11, Scribner)
SF - Jason Kipnis (2)
RBI - Jason Kipnis 3 (14), Nick Swisher (12), Jason Giambi (9), Mark Reynolds 2 (29), Yan Gomes (5), Drew Stubbs (10)
Team LOB - 5
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Scott Kazmir (W,2-1) 65110101 4.87
Matt Albers 1211320 4.66
Cody Allen 1000020 2.40
Scott Barnes 1000100 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 103-72, Matt Albers 35-17, Cody Allen 12-8, Scott Barnes 13-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 3-5, Matt Albers 1-0, Cody Allen 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 23, Matt Albers 8, Cody Allen 3, Scott Barnes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 12477
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - John Tumpane