Athletics 13, Indians 7
CLEVELAND (AP)—Oakland manager Bob Geren probably wishes he gave his ballclub a pep talk sooner.
Geren briefly spoke to his team and the Athletics responded with a 13-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night that snapped a five-game losing streak. Jack Cust hit a three-run homer and finished with a career-high five RBIs, and Shannon Stewart finished with four hits.
“It was just a little positive reinforcement,” Cust said of Geren’s short speech. “But we came out and put together a lot of hits one night after losing a tough one. It was good to bounce back.”
Stewart had a two-run drive for the A’s, who finally broke out offensively. Oakland pounded Fausto Carmona (8-4) for eight runs in building a 9-0 lead in the second inning. The A’s totaled 10 runs during their season-worst skid.
Lenny DiNardo (3-4) won for the first time in four starts, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings. The left-hander used an assortment of slow breaking pitches to hold down the Indians, who had scored 13 runs in winning the first two games of the four-game series.
“I tried the stay aggressive and pitch like the score was 0-0,” DiNardo said. “I used my curve and changeup a lot. That’s a tough lineup to go against.”
Gutierrez hit a three-run homer in the sixth. Blake led off the seventh with his 100th career homer and Hafner connected with one out to make it 11-7.
Rookie Santiago Casilla shut out the Indians over the final two innings. The right-hander has allowed only one earned run in 15 2-3 innings since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento on June 3.
Carmona, who was 7-1 on June 7 after winning seven straight decisions, lost consecutive starts for the first time this season. The right-hander didn’t get any outs in the second inning and lost for the third time in four decisions.
“He just didn’t have it tonight,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s been great all year and he’ll be great again, but it was one of those nights.
“When you get down like that, everything is pretty much out the window.”
Cust continued to hammer Indians pitching, homering in the first before adding a sacrifice fly in Oakland’s six-run second and singling home another run in the seventh.
“He’s just a good hitter,” said Geren, who downplayed the effect his talk may have had on the outcome.
“It was an outstanding offensive game for us,” he said. “I don’t think the meeting had much to do with it.”
Carmona walked two before Cust drove a 1-2 pitch the other way into the bleachers in left-center for his 13th homer, second in two games and fifth in 19 at-bats against Cleveland.
“It just happens that I’m facing those guys when I’m hitting well,” Cust said. “A lot of it is just having some confidence.”
After Josh Barfield ended Oakland’s first with a diving stop at second base, Carmona got right back into trouble the next inning. He yielded a two-run homer to Kurt Suzuki and long double to Travis Buck.
Stewart followed with an infield single under Blake’s glove at third and Nick Swisher lined an RBI double to left-center, finishing Carmona.
“I couldn’t figure him out in the minor leagues either,” Stanford said. “It seems like he’s Superman right now.”
Peralta hit his 13th homer leading off Cleveland’s second. Grady Sizemore’s two-out RBI single made it 9-2.
Rain delayed play 29 minutes in the top of the seventh. … Oakland’s 18 hits matched a season high. … Cust is hitting .409 (9-for-22) with 15 RBIs against Cleveland. … DiNardo had allowed 11 runs in only nine innings in losing his two previous starts. … Chavez had hit only .138 (4-for-29) in eight games before going 3-for-4. … Blake took hits away from Ellis and Swisher with backhanded stops to end the third and fifth innings.