Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 7, Indians 0

Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 7, Indians 0
August 29, 2012, 2:20 am
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The A's need to capitalize on their remaining games against losing teams. At this point they are taking full advantage of the Cleveland Indians' struggles. With a 7-0 victory on Tuesday at Progressive Field, the A's have now won their last six games against the Indians. Oakland has 13 shutouts this season -- their last three have come against the Indians. The A's are now a season-high 14 games over .500 (71-57) and are tied for the top Wild Card spot in the American League.
At the PlateThe A's scored two runs on four singles in the second inning. Brandon Moss and Adam Rosales drove in the runs. Rosales' hit was a two-out RBI single. The A's ended up sending eight batters to the plate in the second, forcing Zach McAllister to throw 33 pitches. Seth Smith hit one of the second-inning singles and doubled with one out in the third inning. It appears he's adjusting to life as the designated hitter. Entering Tuesday he was hitting just .202 when serving as the team's DH. Moss drove in Smith with a mammoth home run to center field. Moss' 14th homer landed in the trees and bushes about 20 feet beyond the wall. Moss is making the most of the playing time he is getting. He is on a seven-game hitting streak and has collected a hit in 10 of his last 11 games. This, without playing every day. Chris Carter added to the A's lead with a solo homer of his own in the fifth inning. It was a towering drive to center field that barely fell over the fence. Carter has 12 homers this season. A's first basemen have combined for 24 homers this year -- Carter (10), Moss (10), Kila Ka'aihue (3), Daric Barton (1). That is a staggering number when looking at what some of the league's premium first basemen have done offensively -- Albert Pujols (26), Prince Fielder (23), Mark Teixeira (21), and Adrian Gonzalez (14).
Carter added an RBI double in the ninth inning to give the A's a 6-0 lead. He finished the day 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Smith scored on a wild pitch extending the lead to 7-0. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for the A's hitters. They struck out 16 times and the top of the lineup went 1-for-13.
Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone's demonstration of escapology on the mound would have even tantalized the likes of Harry Houdini. Naturally, his opening act began in the first inning. Jason Kipnis led off with a single and advanced to second on an error. He would end up stuck there as Milone wiggled his way out of trouble eventually stranding two runners. In the third inning, the Indians hit back-to-back two-out singles, but failed to score when Milone got Michael Brantley to line out to center field. Milone's magic act reached its grand finale as he allowed the Indians to reach second and third with no outs in the fourth inning. The rookie lefty responded by striking out the next two batters before getting Kipnis to ground out to third base and end the threat. When all was said and done, Milone stranded eight Indians on the bases and pitched out of several serious jams. He ended up scattering seven hits and one walk over six scoreless innings of work. He has won two starts in a row after a career-worst three-game losing streak. Bullpen ReportJerry Blevins gave the A's one and two-third innings of scoreless relief. He retired all five batters he faced before being lifted for Pat Neshek, who finished the eighth inning. Evan Scribner pitched the ninth inning with a seven-run lead. He preserved the shutout, retiring all three batters he faced. In the FieldJosh Donaldson made a slick charging play on a slow roller toward third base that he scooped up and tossed to first base to get the out. The play kept the Indians off the scoreboard and ended the fourth inning. Kipnis led off the game by hitting a ball into the right field gap. As JoshReddick attempted to stop the ball from getting to the wall it clanked off the top of his glove on a bounce. The reliable right fielder was charged with an error on the play. AttendanceThe Indians announced a crown of 13,413 at Progressive Field. Up NextThe A's will dip into their pitching depth and start Travis Blackley (4-3, 3.52 ERA) on Wednesday. It will be his 19th appearance and 12th start on the year. The Australian-born lefty is 3-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts. The Indians will counter with right-handed pitcher Corey Kluber (0-2, 5.32 ERA). He allowed one run against the Yankees over five innings in his last start.

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