Montas throws 6 scoreless innings, Athletics top Indians 7-2
CLEVELAND (AP) — After making stops in three cities over 10 days on the road, Frankie Montas and the Oakland Athletics are headed home.
And they’re bringing the longest active winning streak in the majors with them.
Montas pitched six scoreless innings, Mark Canha homered and drove in three, and the Athletics extended their winning streak to six with a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
Oakland completed a 6-2 road trip and has won 10 of 14. Those numbers don’t include a game last weekend that was suspended in Detroit with the Athletics leading 5-3 in the seventh.
“I feel like we’re getting there as a team, but I’m ready to go home,” Montas said, smiling. “I just want to chill and play with my son.”
Nick Hundley had three hits, including a solo homer and two RBIs. Robbie Grossman also drove in a pair of runs as Oakland swept the three-game series and reached the .500 mark for the first time since April 26.
“This is the type of baseball we expect to play and this is the team we envisioned being,” Hundley said. “We’re getting great pitching and Frankie did a real good job keeping this tough lineup off-balance.”
Montas (6-2), who struck out nine mixing fastballs and sliders, has not allowed more than three earned runs in his 10 starts this season. The right-hander gave up five hits, four of them over the first two innings, in lowering his ERA to 2.40.
“Frankie has come a long way in a short period of time,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s still learning, but he’s got a pretty good idea what he wants to throw in every situation, not just waiting for the sign from the catcher.”
The 26-year-old said the Indians’ aggressive approach played into his hands, noting, “If I threw a ball close to the zone, they were going to swing. They were swinging early, which I like.”
Canha, filling in for injured designated hitter Khris Davis, homered for the second day in a row and has nine RBIs in his last six games. He drove in five runs over his first 20 appearances this season.
Davis underwent an MRI on his ailing left hip but has not been put on the injured list while the team awaits the results. Melvin said he would update his status Friday.
Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez (1-4) allowed four earned runs in a season-low four innings. Cleveland’s three starters racked up 317 pitches in the series — and none lasted longer than six innings — as Oakland belted seven home runs.
“You’re certainly trying to take care of your starter, but you also know you’ve got to cover a certain amount of innings with your bullpen,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a bunch of anxiety about it.”
Cleveland’s Jake Bauers hit a two-run homer off Fernando Rodney. The 450-foot shot into the visiting bullpen was the Indians’ longest since 2017.
The Indians stranded 11 runners and have the third-lowest batting average in the AL at .224. Cleveland scored nine runs in the series, dropping its season average to 3.9.
“If I had the magic potion, believe me, I’d give it to everybody,” Francona said. “The best thing I know is to not drag our heads, to not feel sorry for ourselves, because nobody cares. Especially the teams we’re playing. They’re probably thrilled.”
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (cervical strain) will make his next scheduled start Sunday. The 31-year-old awkwardly twisted his neck in the fifth inning Monday while avoiding both pieces of a broken bat and a baseball hit by Indians catcher Roberto Perez.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (right arm fracture), who was struck by a line drive on May 1 at Miami, will have an X-ray taken Thursday. The two-time AL Cy Young winner could have his hard cast replaced with a removable splint if the test reveals healing.
Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (1-1, 3.65 ERA) takes on Mariners LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-1, 7.36 ERA) in the Friday opener of a three-game series.
Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (1-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second start of the season Thursday in the first game of a four-game set against Tampa Bay.