Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – When the Indians made a trip out west back in April, the season was still young and it was impressive how the team rallied for a successful 7-2 road swing.
Now, four months later and with the season totally falling apart at the seams, all that seems left for the 2012 Tribe is to play out the stretch, as Friday night in Oakland even Vinnie Pestano, couldn’t save them from another loss.
While Pestano, who has been the best pitcher on the team in 2012, didn’t get charged with a run, it was the two hits that he allowed to the A’s in the 8th to be the back-breaking swings in an Oakland 6-4 win.
For the Indians, it was their third loss in a row after a road trip opening night win over the Angels. They are now 54-65 on the season, and are 11.5 games back of the White Sox in the AL Central.
Joe Smith allowed the two losing runs to cross to Oakland, as the A’s pushed the two runs across in a tie game, this after the Indians had at one point a 4-0 lead.
Chris Carter walked to start the inning, then Brandon Moss singled. Pestano came in for Smith at that point, and gave up a single to shallow left center to Josh Reddick to load the bases.
Josh Donaldson singled to give the A’s a 5-4 lead, and then two batters later Cliff Pennington hit sacrifice fly to right to make it 6-4, which was the final.
Smith got charged with the loss to fall to 7-3 on the season. Jordan Norberto got the win in relief for the A’s to improve to 4-1 on the year, while Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his 10 save.
Zach McAllister started for the Tribe, and went six innings, allowing four runs on 8 hits with a walk and six K’s to take home the no-decision.
The game was scoreless till the 4th, when Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Jason Donald all got on base, setting the stage for Shelley Duncan, who hammered his 11th homer of the season.
The grand slam gave the Indians a 4-0 lead, but McAllister allowed the A’s to get back in the game and tie it up in just two innings.
The A’s scored three in the 4th on a Donaldson double, Derek Norris ground out, and Pennington single to shallow right to score Donaldson.
Oakland tied it in the 5th when Carter hit a sac fly to make it a 4-4 game. The Indians bats managed just six hits on the contest, Asdrubal Cabrera was the only Indian with two hits.
Game two of the three game set is Saturday night in Oakland at 9:05pm EST.