Well, this game wasn't exactly the way that the A's wanted to end the first "half" of the season if they actually wanted to make a late-summer run against the West. The A's offense is really to blame in this one; you won't win many games with five hits and a run. All of the A's action happened in the very first inning as Billy Burns led off the game with a single and instead of stealing second base, had to rely on Cleveland dropping the ball on a ground out by Mark Canha. Which they did, in a replay call that was overturned in the A's favor to put runners at first and second with no one out. Of course, the A's minimized this opportunity as best they could; Reddick grounded to third for the first out, moving Burns to third, and after Zobrist walked to load the bases with one out, Butler made the second out on a deep sacrifice fly. Ike Davis struck out to end the inning, and the A's wouldn't come close to scoring another run in the game. Salazar merrily pitched just an out shy of a complete game, allowing a fifth inning Phegley single, a sixth inning Canha double, an eighth inning Semien single, and a ninth inning double by Zobrist. Salazar hit Billy Butler on a 0-2 pitch with two outs and Zobrist on second to exit the game. Cleveland fans didn't have anything to worry about; after striking out twice in previous at-bats, Davis popped up to end the game.
The A's made a somewhat halfhearted effort at base-running as with Burns batting with two outs in the fifth, they sent Semien to attempt to steal second base, in the only thing the A's did to try to move any runner tonight, but sadly, he was out. It wouldn't really matter. Tied 1-1 in the sixth, a single opened the inning for the Indians, and a two-out single put two on. Graveman walked the last batter he faced to load the bases with two outs, and was replaced by Drew Pomeranz. Who promptly walked in two runs. Was the home plate umpire, Laz, Diaz, partially responsible by inserting himself into the game after he missed at least two strike calls during those at-bats? Yes. But still. Two walks, two runs, two inherited runners scored on Pomeranz' watch. Oh, and the single he gave up just for good measure plated Graveman's last run and one of Pomeranz's as well to put the game out of reach at 5-1.
We'll do it against tomorrow at 3:35 as we welcome back Chris Bassitt, who we can only hope has better luck in his third start.