By Charlie O. Mallonee
The Oakland Athletics have feasted on the American League Central Division. One of the reasons the A’s record improved so dramatically in late June and early July was their performance versus the AL Central teams.
On Friday night, it looked like that feast would continue as the A’s jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on home runs by Dustin Fowler in the first inning and Matt Olson in the second inning. Oakland (48-40) appeared ready to make it a short game for Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.
Cleveland (49-37) had a completely different idea about the game. They put a run up on the board in the bottom of the second which started them on a march to victory. The Indians added three more runs to their total in the home half of the third inning to take a 4-2 lead, and they would never relinquish that lead.
The Indians would score six additional runs while the A’s would add two runs to their total. Cleveland won game one 10-4.
This game was about hitting
- The Indians scored their 10 runs on just 10 hits — that’s efficiency.
- Cleveland recorded 10 hits and struck out just four times. That is not the norm in the days of teams recording more strikeouts than hits.
- They scored those 10 runs and had only three batters walk.
- Cleveland went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left just two runners on base.
- The Indians scored their 10 runs without hitting a home run. Their key weapon was the two-base hit. They hit three doubles in the game
- Lindor, Brantley, Ramirez, and Encarnacion all had two-hit games. Ramirez and Encarnacion recorded three RBI each.
- The A’s scored their four runs off 11 hits. Only one Oakland batter walked.
- The A’s hitters also struck out 11 times for a one hit to one strikeout ratio — not unusual this season but not what any manager wants to see from his team.
- Mark Canha led the Oakland hitting attack going 3-for-4 with an RBI (33). One of his hits was his 14th double of the season.
- Fowler, Olson, and Semien all had two-hit nights. Fowler also picked up two RBIs.
- Oakland went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.
It was a night of many pitchers
- Carlos Carrasco (9-5) made the start for Cleveland and picked up the win. He worked 5.1-innings giving up three runs (all earned) on seven hits. Carrasco struck out seven A’s and walked none. He did allow two home runs.
- Cleveland used five relief pitchers. Four of them pitched less than an inning.
- Dan Otero — who pitched for the A’s for three seasons — pitched the final two innings of the game for the Indians.
- No save was awarded.
- Paul Blackburn started the game for the A’s and worked 4.0 innings. He gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits. Blackburn struck three and walked one. He was charged with the loss and his record falls to 2-3.
- Yusmeiro Petit worked 2.0 innings of no-hit baseball. He walked one and struck out one.
- Emilio Pagan really struggled as he pitched 0.2 innings allowing four runs (all earned) on just three hits.
- Santiago Casilla came in to close out the seventh inning for Pagan.
- Chris Hatcher worked a perfect eighth inning for Oakland against the Indians.
The A’s and Indians will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 1:10 pm PDT. The “ageless one” Edwin Jackson (1-0, 2.13) will start for Oakland and the very tough Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.64) will take the hill for the Indians.