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Indians 9, A's 2

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians put the finishing touches on an 8-1 homestand Thursday with the same formula they used throughout the nine games: outstanding starting pitching and lots of offense.

The Indians banged out 12 hits, including three home runs to beat Oakland 9-2, to complete a four-game sweep, and outscored opponents 57-23 during the homestand.

Cleveland is now 10-1 since April 28. During that stretch, the Indians' starting pitchers are 9-1 with a 2.56 ERA. On Thursday, it was left-hander Scott Kazmir who shut down an Oakland offense that leads the majors in runs scored.

Kazmir allowed one run on five hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks in six innings. He struck out two batters in five of his six innings pitched. In his previous two starts, both during this homestand, Kazmir is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA, with 17 strikeouts and one walk in 12 innings.

The Indians quickly took control of the game, as they scored five runs in the first two innings off A's starter Bartolo Colon (3-2), who gave up six runs in four innings.

In the first, Jason Kipnis belted a two-run homer to put Cleveland up 2-0. The Indians scored three more runs in the second inning, which began with a double by Mark Reynolds. Yan Gomes doubled home Reynolds, and Drew Stubbs' single brought in Gomes. Stubbs later scored on a sacrifice fly by Kipnis.

The Indians lead the American League in home runs, and hit three more on Thursday. Nick Swisher launched a solo shot in the third inning, and Reynolds clubbed his AL-leading 11th homer -- a two-run blast -- in the fifth.

Cleveland's other run came on a fifth-inning RBI single by Jason Giambi.

That offense provided a 9-0 lead for Kazmir (2-1) after the fifth inning, and the 29-year-old left-hander mowed down A's hitters. Oakland's Josh Donaldson produced the A's only against him, with a home run with two outs in the sixth.

Notes. Oakland starter Colon pitched for Cleveland from 1997-2002 and had a winning percentage of .625, which ranks second on the Indians' all-time list behind Cliff Lee (.634) ... Donaldson finished the day 2-for-3 with a home run, and is hitting .367 in his last 17 games. ... Indians outfielder Michael Bourn, on the disabled list since April 15 with a lacerated right index finger, is expected to be activated in the next few days. ... Indians pitcher Brett Myers, on the DL with a strained tendon in his right elbow, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday.
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