Melvin on Sogard: 'He's been terrific'
Eric Sogard's only hit of the game drove in Stephen Vogt with the eventual game-winning run in the seventh. (AP)
Josh Reddick (left) and Yoenis Cespedes celebrate after Cespedes' two run home run in the first inning. (AP)
OAKLAND -- The last time the A's faced Cleveland?
Oakland manager Bob Melvin said it felt like it was "last year." Rather, it was May 6 through 9, a four-game set more remembered for the blown call on Adam Rosales' home run than the Indians sweeping the A's in blowout fashion. At least, that's how the A's would prefer to recall this proceedings after being outscored by a combined 21-8, right?
This one? The A's will gladly put in the mental Rolodex, such was Oakland's crisp (not to be confused with Coco, who is still out and nursing a sore left wrist) 3-2 victory over the Indians.
The A's took a 2-0 lead on a first-inning home run by Yoenis Cespedes and went up by one on Eric Sogard's seventh-inning double. Grant Balfour picked up his 31st save.
Cleveland put two runners on base with one out in the ninth, but Asdrubal Cabrera lined out to Josh Donaldson at third, and Donaldson caught pinch-runner MIke Aviles creeping too far from second and threw him out for the game-ending double play.
Oakland (68-52) pulled to within 1/2 a game of Texas, which lost at home to Seattle, in the American League West, while pushing the Indians 4 1/2 games behind the A's for the second wild card.
Starting pitching report
A.J. Griffin, who has given up a major league-high 28 home runs, did not allow any for the second start in a row, after giving up homers in seven of his previous nine starts. The right hander did, however, walk five batters a start after issuing six free passes, and you'd have to combine his previous eight starts to find 12 walks. Griffin did not factor in the decision as he allowed one unearned run and four hits with three strikeouts in his 104 pitches, 57 strikes.
Dan Otero had a perfect sixth inning but Sean Doolittle gave up a tying run in the seventh, surrendering two hits and two walks in the process. Ryan Cook had an interesting eighth, retiring his first two batters before giving up a double to Drew Stubbs and walking Michael Bourn before getting Nick Swisher to bounce out to second. Grant Balfour flirted with danger, putting two runners on with one out, but survived courtesy of a game-ending double play for his 31st save in 32 opportunities.
At the plate
Yoenis Cespedes hit his team-leading 20th home run in the first inning, a two-out, two-run blast to left-center that gave the A's a 2-0 lead. Cespedes also has 58 RBI now. The A's took a 3-2 lead on Eric Sogard's double into the right-field corner when Stephen Vogt raced home from first and the relay throw was up the line. But Sogard was cut down at third trying to stretch it on your typical 9-4-2-5 play.
In the field
Josh Reddick hit both ends of the spectrum with a pair of spectacular grabs, one a shoestring catch of Jason Kipnis' sinking line in the third inning, the other a running ran into the right-field corner to rob Michael Bourn in the fifth. But his throwing error in the third, one play before his first highlight play, was as costly as it was pretty. Charging Carlos Santana's single, Reddick took aim at Nick Swisher rounding second, but Reddick airmailed his throw to third and the ball ricocheted off the back of the A's dugout, allowing Swisher to score and get the Indians to within 2-1.
The A's announced a crowd of 17,491 at the O.co Coliseum for the series opener against the Indians…and Filipino Heritage Night.
Tweet of the game
SOGARD IS THE NEW TEJADA, GIVE HIM THE MVP ALREADY, GUY CAN BARELY LIFT THE BAT AND LOOK AT HIM -- @charlieagu
Dan Straily (6-6, 4.19 ERA) snapped put of his post-All Star break funk by allowing one earned run and six hits in 7 1/3 innings at Toronto on Monday, though he did not earn a decision. The rookie right hander is is 0-4 with a 3.95 ERA and batters are hitting .303 against him in five starts since he was recalled from triple-A Sacramento on July 20. He has never faced the Indians. Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7, 4.11) is 2-0 with a 3.57 ERA in three career starts against the A's.