CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Baseball is a game of inches, and the Oakland A’s learned that the hard way Wednesday night.
It was those inches though that went the Indians way, as what appeared to be a botched replay call by the umpires saved an Indians 4-3 win.
The controversal call happened in the 9th, when A’s shortstop Adam Rosales hit what looked like a homer to center with two outs down a run against Indians closer Chris Perez.
While standing on second and the umps looking at the call for about 7-8 minutes, it looked on all replays like the ball hit the railing, thus a homer.
Instead, after looking at it, the call went the Indians way, as crew chief Angel Hernandez ruled it was a double, saving the Indians the run.
A’s manager Bob Melvin came out screaming, and was ejected by Hernandez.
“Clearly it hit the railing behind,” Melvin said after the game. “I’m at a loss, a complete loss.”
Perez then loaded the bases, but got out of it when Seth Smith grounded out to him to end the game.
Justin Masterson got the win, finally beating a team that he has had major issues against.
Entering Wednesday, Masterson was 1-5 lifetime vs Oakland, with an ERA of 8.10. He had lost his last three vs the A’s, and carried a 10.36 ERA against them as a starter.
With the win, the Tribe ace improves to 5-2 on the season, his ERA sittingat 3.67 on the year. He records his first win since a win over Chicago on April 22nd on the road.
Down 3-0, the Indians offense got some help from Oakland, as an error on a fielder’s choice from A’s shortstop Adam Rosales allowed the Indians to get back in the game in the 5th.
After two walks and a single by Lonnie Chisenhall loaded the bases, Drew Stubbs hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Carlos Santana get thrown out at home.
Then Michael Brantley hit a ball to second that saw Stubbs get thrown out at second, but the throw from Rosales got away, allowing two runs to cross to make it 3-2.
The Indians got their third and fourth runs the more conventional way in the 6th, as Nick Swisher slammed his 4th homer of the year to tie the game at three.
Then two batters later, Santana crushed an A.J. Griffin offering 419 feet, sending the crowd into a frenzy and the Indians into the lead at 4-3.
The Indians have hit two homers in one inning 10 times this year. They did it nine times all of last season.
Masterson got the team to the eight, finishing the night going seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts.
He threw 100 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Joe Smith threw the eighth, and after a leadoff baserunner for the A’s, got two K’s and a lazy fly to center.
Chris Perez threw the 9th, and got the first two outs with ease before the crazy ending that finally concluded with him walking the ball to first for the final out.
The game was much like Tuesday as it remained scoreless till Oakland finally broke through for three against Masterson in the 4th.
Seth Smith and Jed Lowrie both singled to start the inning. After a fielder’s choice, Brandon Moss singled to shallow right to score Smith to make it 1-0.
Two more scored after the runners moved up on a Masterson wild pitch, and Daric Barton singled to center to make it 3-0.
The series and homestand wraps up Thursday with a noon start at Progressive Field, as Scott Kazmir (1-1, 6.28) goes against former Indian Bartolo Colon (3-1, 3.62).