The Indians skipped Scott Kazmir’s last turn in the rotation, hoping that he would benefit from the extra rest after getting knocked around by the Angels. Unfortunately, today’s outcome wasn’t much better. Even though Kazmir was able to last a bit longer in today’s game, he still gave up 5 ER and took the loss for the Tribe in the 7-3 game. The theory is that Kazmir’s arm is a bit dead at this point, since it’s been a while since he pitched a full season in the majors. His velocity was still decent today though, although his control seemed iffy at times. He kept the Indians in the game at first – they even managed to tie the score at 3-3 at one point – before giving up solo home runs to Chris Davis and Alberto Callaspo. Oakland would score two more runs off of the bullpen, but they didn’t even need them at that point. The damage was done, and the Indians bats were silent for the remainder of the game.
Tommy Milone had a decent start for Oakland, but when you consider how well he pitched against the Tribe in May, they were able to get to him a bit today. They tabbed him for all three runs and six hits, including Ryan Raburn’s 15th home run, tying him for the team lead with Jason Kipnis. If you had Raburn leading in your preseason home run pools, raise your hands (I don’t expect to see many hands). The Indians ran Milone’s pitch count up, and knocked him out of the game in the fifth inning. Unfortunately, they were almost completely shut down by the A’s bullpen. In 4.1 innings, their bullpen kept the Indians scoreless and allowed just three scattered hits and no walks.
Unfortunately I don’t have much else to say about this game, although this was a relatively frustrating series. The Indians had a good game last night, but they really could have won Friday night’s game if they could have avoided stranding a small army of runners on base. Then tonight, they managed to keep themselves in the game for a while – in fact, when the A’s were up 3-1 it felt like it should actually be much worse than that. I guess I should just be thankful that they kept it as close as they did, for as long as they did. The Indians still win the season series 5-2 against the A’s, but unfortunately lost 2 of 3 on the west coast. They’ll move to Anaheim next, and they have to put up a good showing against the Angels to salvage the road trip. They’ll face the same three starters they did in Cleveland (C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver, and Jerome Williams) so perhaps it will be beneficial to an offense that has been sputtering on and off for several weeks.