for this game

Indians top Athletics on bases-loaded walk

Apr 7, 2008 - 12:47 AM By Al Barba PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- With its offense struggling, lefthander Cliff Lee gave the Cleveland Indians exactly what they needed.

Lee allowed one unearned run on four hits and struck out four in 6 2/3 innings as Cleveland defeated Oakland Athletics, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon to salvage the final game of a three-game series and snap a three-game losing streak.

After surrendering an unearned on Travis Buck's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, Lee (1-0) did not allow another runner to reach second base. He left the game with two outs and a runner on first base before Rafael Perez came on to get Kurt Suzuki on a fly ball to right field.

"The first inning I wasn't really locating all that well," Lee said. "I got through it without my best stuff but after that I felt like I started locating the ball where I wanted with fastballs.

"That's the main thing. Everything pretty much works off the fastball anyway. If I'm locating it, my other pitches will be there."

Lee is exactly where he wants to be after a difficult 2007 season in which he suffered a strained right abdominal muscle in spring training and spent the first month of the season on the disabled list. He was limited to just 20 appearances and went 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA.

"At this time last year I was rehabbing and stuff due to the ab injury," Lee said. "Just having the full spring training and taking off with the team and actually feeling like I'm a part of it, that is definitely the main difference between now and last year."

Lee outdueled Oakland starter Joe Blanton (0-2), who held Cleveland scoreless until the seventh inning when the Indians scored on an infield error and bases-loaded walk.

Blanton had a chance to escape the inning with the lead when he induced Asdrubal Cabrera to hit into a possible inning-ending double play to first baseman Daric Barton. However, in his haste to throw to second base, Barton lost the grip on the ball and had to underhand it to Blanton covering at first base, which allowed pinch runner Jamey Carroll to score from third with the tying run.

After an intentional walk to Travis Hafner loaded the bases, Blanton walked Ryan Garko, who was able to check his swing, forcing in Kelly Shoppach with the go-ahead run.

Blanton, who was making his third start of the season, pitched a season-high 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out two and walking four.

"I was just trying to make tough pitches in a close game and sometimes that's what happens," Blanton said referring to the two walks he issued in the seventh. "You get in a 1-0 game, you try to make tough pitches. I'm not going to give in. If nobdody is on, I might throw more over the white."

Lee was backed up by solid work from the Indians' bullpen as Perez, Rafael Betancourt and Joe Borowski pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Borowski earned his second save of the season after pitching the ninth inning.

Cleveland put at least one runner on base in seven of the nine innings against four Oakland pitchers.

"We scratched it out, basically," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "It all starts with Cliff. He did a great job controlling the ballgame. He established his fastball early and commanded it throughout.

"He was pretty efficient. It was great to see him come out and get off to a good start."

Meanwhile, the Athletics did not manage another hit following Suzuki's one-out single in the fifth inning.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 7 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - CLIFF LEE, RAFAEL PEREZ (7TH), RAFAEL BETANCOURT (8TH), JOE
    BOROWSKI (9TH) AND KELLY SHOPPACH
    OAK - JOE BLANTON, SANTIAGO CASILLA (7TH), ALAN EMBREE
    (8TH), A

    Apr 6 6:44 PM
  • 40
    roots
    millsythekiwi Added 5 roots

    Indians 2, Athletics 1  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 6 6:38 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians 2, Athletics 1  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 6 6:23 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO RYAN GARKO SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R GARKO ON FIRST, T HAFNER ON SECOND, G
    SIZEMORE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    OAKLAND 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.208, 2-FOR-3)

    Indians 2, Athletics 1  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 6 5:47 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA SCORED JAMEY CARROLL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SIZEMORE ON SECOND, K SHOPPACH ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    OAKLAND 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.273, 1-FOR-3)

    Indians 1, Athletics 1  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 6 5:44 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY TRAVIS BUCK SCORED KURT SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SWEENEY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.130, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians 0, Athletics 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 6 4:49 PM