The right-hander allowed one unearned run over six innings and was backed by two-run homers from Carlos Santana(notes) and Jack Hannahan(notes) as the scrappy Indians kept pace in the AL Central race by beating the Oakland Athletics 6-2 Tuesday night.
Cleveland continues trying to overcome injuries and gain ground in the division, winning four of five. The Indians are 5 1/2 behind first-place Detroit, which beat Kansas City 2-1 in 10 innings.
“I feel like we’ve got a couple of streaks (left) in us,” Acta said. “There’s a month to go. The pitching is there. You get good pitching, you’re in every game.”
For a change, the Indians added some offense to win by their largest margin since beating the Tigers 10-3 on Aug. 10. Their previous three wins were by one run.
Hannahan had three hits and is 18 for 42 (.429) with 10 RBIs in his last 13 games. The third baseman, signed to a non-roster contract in the winter, is enjoying the pressure of playing for a playoff berth.
“It’s a different atmosphere,” Hannahan said. “It’s someone different every day, getting big hits, pitching well. The young guys are coming up and getting it done.”
“I think the homer shocked him a little bit,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of the right-hander. “His stuff was good again. He’ll go through periods where he’s painting on all his pitches and everything’s sharp, and then he’ll have gaps where he gets out of whack a little bit.”
Cahill is 1-6 in nine starts since the All-Star break. He opened the season 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA through May 14, but is 3-13 since. He said the location on the pitch to Santana was not close to where he wanted it.
“I was trying to throw it low,” Cahill said. “Hopefully he would chase it and hit it into the ground for a double play, but I left it up and he yanked it over the wall.
“Even in innings I didn’t give up runs, I was fighting myself. When you’re doing that the whole game, it’s tough to get big league hitters out.”
Oakland has lost four straight and five of six. In five games against Cleveland this year, the A’s have totaled 10 runs. “We’ve basically done nothing,” Melvin said. “We’ll search for those answers, but I don’t have one right now.”
Lou Marson(notes) and Ezequiel Carrera(notes) reached on infield singles. Fukudome, hitting .379 (11 of 29) with five RBIs over his last eight games, then doubled to the wall in right-center, scoring both runners.
Indians designated hitter Jim Thome(notes) went 1 for 2 with two walks. That extended the 41-year-old Thome’s team record to 1,000 walks. He has 1,717 for his career, eighth all-time and 16 behind Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle.
Notes: Cleveland optioned 1B Matt LaPorta(notes) to Triple-A Columbus. … Indians OF Grady Sizemore(notes), out since July 18 with a sore knee and recovering from abdominal surgery, will start a rehab assignment Wednesday at Double-A Akron. … Oakland called up hard-throwing RHP Neil Wagner(notes) from Triple-A Sacramento. Cleveland’s 21st-round pick in 2005 and sold to Oakland a year ago, Wagner had 87 strikeouts in 66 1-3 innings in the minors this year and fanned the first batter he faced, Santana, in the eighth. … A’s RHP Michael Wuertz(notes) (thumb) is scheduled for a rehab outing Wednesday and could rejoin Oakland this weekend. He’s been out since July 30. … RHP Rich Harden(notes) (4-2) will face Indians RHP Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) (2-2) on Wednesday. Harden’s 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings are sixth-best among AL pitchers with at least 50 innings. Jimenez is 2-0 at home since being acquired by Cleveland from Colorado for four prospects at the trade deadline July 31. … A’s manager Bob Melvin said OF Ryan Sweeney(notes), batting .200 (9 for 45) in August, may play the last two games of the series. … Weeks is 12 for 29 (.414) in a seven-game hitting streak. … A’s OF Brandon Allen(notes) went 0 for 4 and is in an 0 for 14 slump.