After the marathon game on Wednesday night that ended after midnight on Thursday morning, it almost stood to reason that one team or the other would show up at Progressive Field this afternoon and look as if they were still asleep.
Unfortunately that team was the Indians, as Gio Gonzalez and the Athletics avoided a sweep with a convincing 7-0 victory that never seemed to be in doubt once Oakland took the lead.
Gonzalez improved to 5-0 lifetime vs. the Indians with seven shutout innings, and ran his streak of scoreless innings against Cleveland to 27.2 frames. Gonzalez (12-11, 3.21 ERA) allowed only four hits and struck out seven as he cruised once the A’s grabbed a 2-0 lead off of Fausto Carmona (6-13, 4.84 ERA) in the Oakland fifth on a pair of two-out hits.
The Athletics added three more in the seventh when some sloppy defense undid the Tribe and forced Carmona from the game. Fausto was replaced by Nick Hagadone, making his Major League debut. Hagadone came on with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh and retired three straight hitters, with only one run scoring, on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Hideki Matsui, but ran into trouble in the eighth and was replaced by another pitcher making his debut.
Corey Kluber fared better statistically than Hagadone, working an inning and a third and giving up no runs, although Kluber did allow two three inherited runners to score when he entered with the bases loaded as well, and gave up hits to the first two batters he faced. That closed the book on Hagadone, who ended up surrendering three runs in 1.2 frames of work.
Craig Breslow finished what Gonzalez had started with two scoreless innings of his own to cap a day in which the Tribe managed only five hits and drew four walks. The Indians went 0-for-4 with men in scoring position and left 10 men on base — just a forgettable performance which does not need to be dwelt on too much, except to say that Lou Marson had a good day, collecting two hits the day after catching 16 innings. Good job, Lou.
Fortunately for the Indians, the Tigers also lost this afternoon, as Detroit ended up splitting a four-game set at home vs. Kansas City. Now the Indians travel to Missouri to face the Royals this weekend, while the Tigers and the Chicago White Sox square off in Detroit.
The Tribe and White Sox are in a dead-heat in the American League Central, both trailing the Tigers by 5.5 games at 68-66.
Detroit’s magic number dropped to 22 even with their loss.