for this game

Laffey shuts down A's as Indians sweep

May 15, 2008 - 8:53 PM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) - After a slow start to the season, the Cleveland Indians seem to be back on track and it's their starting pitching leading the way.

Aaron Laffey pitched seven strong innings as the Indians defeated the Oakland Athletics, 4-2, on Thursday.

Jhonny Peralta had a home run and scored three runs for Cleveland, which finished 6-1 on its seven-game homestand and moved three games over .500 for the first time this season.

The Indians entered the homestand two games under .500 and in third place in the AL Central, but their starting pitching allowed just one earned run in 55 1/3 innings on the homestand - including a stretch of 44 1/3 scoreless innings - as the Indians catapulted into first place.

"It's been outstanding," said Indians manager Eric Wedge about his starting pitching. "Rarely, if ever, do you see stretches like what we are seeing with our starters."

Laffey (2-2) allowed an unearned run and five hits while striking out six, but was unable to keep the Indians starters' scoreless streak going.

The Indians' rotation entered the game having not allowed a run in 43 1/3 innings - the longest streak since the 1974 Baltimore Orioles' staff threw 54 scoreless innings. But Laffey's throwing error in the second ended the streak.

"You don't want to be that guy that gives it up," Laffey said. "You minimize your mistakes by concentrating on each and every hitter."

With runners on first and second and one out, Rob Bowen hit a soft grounder in front of the mound. Laffey picked up the ball but threw it in right field to tie the score at 1-1.

"I was upset about the error," he said.

Trailing 4-1, the Athletics made it close in the ninth, as they scored a run off closer Rafael Betancourt. But Masa Kobayashi struck out Mike Sweeney and Ryan Sweeney with runners on second and third to pick up his second save in as many chances.

"I liked the way we fought to the end," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We had the winning run at the plate and we made (Cleveland) go to their second closing option."

Ben Francisco and Travis Hafner each had an RBI single in the third to give Cleveland a 3-1 lead.

A's starter Greg Smith plunked Grady Sizemore and walked Peralta to start the inning. Francisco followed with a single to left and two batters later, Hafner drove in his 499th career run with a single up the middle.

Peralta hit a solo shot in the seventh off of reliever Santiago Casilla to cap the Indians' scoring. Peralta blasted the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for his seventh home run of the season.

"That was a big run." Wedge said. "It took us from a two-run lead to a three-run lead late, which was big for us. It ended up being bigger than we wanted it to be."

Smith (2-3) struggled with his command, as he threw 102 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out seven and walking three.

"I was inconsistent," said Smith. "I would locate the fastball sometimes, but other times it wasn't there. Next thing I knew I was at 100 pitches."

The A's have now lost five of their last six games and scored only two runs in the three-game series.

"We ran into some tough pitching," Geren said. "We played good defense and pitched very well, but we just haven't scored any runs."








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

    BATTERIES: OAK - GREG SMITH, JOEY DEVINE (5TH), SANTIAGO CASILLA (7TH), CHAD
    GAUDIN (7TH), HUSTON STREET (8TH) AND ROB BOWEN
    CLE - AARON LAFFEY, JENSEN LEWIS (8TH), RAFAEL
    BE

    May 15 3:24 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY MASAHIDE KOBAYASHI ALLOWED JACK CUST TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J HANNAHAN ON FIRST, B CROSBY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    CLEVELAND 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SWEENEY (.326, 0-FOR-0)

    Athletics 2, Indians 4  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 15 3:19 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JHONNY PERALTA (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF SANTIAGO CASILLA.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, CLEVELAND 4
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: B FRANCISCO (.323, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Athletics 1, Indians 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 15 2:20 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TRAVIS HAFNER SCORED JHONNY PERALTA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HAFNER ON FIRST, B FRANCISCO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: F GUTIERREZ (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 1, Indians 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 15 1:09 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BEN FRANCISCO SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B FRANCISCO ON FIRST, J PERALTA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.240, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Athletics 1, Indians 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 15 1:05 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY AARON LAFFEY ALLOWED BOBBY CROSBY TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R BOWEN ON FIRST, J HANNAHAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: R DAVIS (.276, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 1, Indians 1  Top 2, 0 OutsMay 15 12:39 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN GARKO SCORED JHONNY PERALTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R GARKO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.218, 3 HR, 18 RBI)

    Athletics 0, Indians 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 15 12:25 PM