By Kahlil Najar
OAKLAND – Michael Bourn hit a ground rule double over the left center field wall in the top of the ninth to score Lonnie Chisenhall and give the Indians a 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
The Athletics are now 45-59 for the season and 13 games behind the first place Astros. Oakland has lost seven of the last eight games and are 4-9 since the All-Star Break and are 21-31 at home.
Oakland’s starting pitchers are 2-7 over the same span of games.
Kendall Graveman looked to turn that around tonight as he had a solid outing. He threw for six and two-thirds innings and only game up one run and struck out six.
“It was good to see him get through the first. He pitched as effectively as we could ask. We just didn’t give him any run support,” said Bob Melvin on Graveman’s performance tonight.
“I let the ball move. I was trying to be to fine early in counts and falling behind and letting hitters get hitters counts,” said Graveman.
Oakland’s offense has been sputtering lately. The A’s have only mustered two hits in the last 17 innings and are 10-14 in July. With today’s loss they set a new Oakland record of only scoring 76 runs in the month.
“It’s frustrating. You go through periods of the season when you’re a little bit up and down but you like to time it right where you get a well pitched game you get just enough to give him a decision or a win or a no decision and we weren’t able to do that,” said Melvin.
Stephen Vogt who is 0-6 this home stand so far echoed his frustration with offense.
“Anytime you waste a good start you get frustrated. When you can’t give your boy two runs and and he goes out there and gives up one unearned it’s pretty frustrating,” said Vogt. “I’m struggling. Flat out. Jumpy, not being patient enough. It’s been a really bad for me. Swing feels good.. just got to bounce out of it.”
Defensively Marcus Semien committed his 29th error this season (the most among shortstops) which allowed the Indians to score their first run of the game.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the A’s. Ike Davis had a quick move to catch an Indians runner out at first and of course Graveman had an excellent start.
Newly acquired Aaron Brooks (0-0, 6.23) starts against RHP Cody Anderson (2-2, 3.26) tomorrow at 6:05 pm.