The Oakland Athletics began a 10-game road trip Tuesday by continuing to make themselves at home in Cleveland.
The surging Athletics will go for their sixth straight win overall and seventh in a row at Progressive Field on Wednesday when they play the second contest of a three-game series against the Indians.
On Tuesday, Jed Lowrie drove in the tying run with a groundout in the eighth inning and added a run-scoring double in the 10th to lift Oakland to a 4-3 victory. Lowrie is 5-for-15 with a homer, five RBIs and two runs in four games against Cleveland this season.
Seth Brown belted a solo homer in the series opener. He is 5-for-11 with two solo shots in the season series vs. the Indians.
The Athletics likely need a strong performance from starter Frankie Montas (9-8, 4.10 ERA) on Wednesday after their bullpen worked 8 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball in the series opener. Burch Smith started the relief parade with 3 1/3 innings.
“Burch was huge for us to give us that kind of length,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, per the Bay Area News Group. “You’re starting a stretch of 15 games in a row, and, if anyone can handle it, it’s us because of our starters going deep in games.
“Sean (Manaea) just had one of those games where he didn’t have it (Tuesday), but Burch was huge in giving us three-plus. Then we had to just use one inning from everybody else, so everyone is still available (Wednesday).”
Montas, 28, was left with a no-decision against the San Diego Padres in his latest outing despite allowing three runs in six innings with eight strikeouts on Aug. 4.
The right-hander also pitched well in his latest encounter vs. Cleveland before being saddled with a hard-luck loss.
Montas permitted two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in six innings of a 3-2 setback on July 17. He fell to 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA in seven career appearances (four starts) against the Indians.
Jose Ramirez (4-for-12) has fared well in a small sample size against Montas, but the hurler has flustered Myles Straw (0-for-6). Straw, however, has hits in nine of 11 games since joining Cleveland, and he is batting .304 (14-for-46) with the Indians.
Straw doubled in the second inning and came around to score to help stake the hosts to an early 3-1 lead on Tuesday.
“I truly liked the effort,” Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said. “You talk about competing and being in the game. We had the lead until they tied it up in the eighth and went into extra innings.”
Right-hander Cal Quantrill (3-2, 3.14 ERA) will start for the Indians on Wednesday.
Quantrill, 26, improved to 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his past six starts after scattering four hits over seven scoreless innings in a 6-1 victory vs. the Detroit Tigers on Friday. He struck out a career-best 10 batters and retired 15 in a row after allowing back-to-back hits in the first inning.
“Cal was outstanding,” Hale said. “Attacked the zone with his fastball. He was in and out, up and down, east, west, north, south.”
Quantrill won his lone career appearance against Oakland on July 17. He yielded one run on four hits in five innings.
–Field Level Media