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Bad inning does in Indians in 5-4 loss to Oakland

July 12, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) — One bad inning brought an end to the Cleveland Indians’ longest home winning streak of the season.

Oakland scored three runs with two outs in the eighth, including a two-run double by Billy Butler with the bases loaded, to go ahead for good in a 5-4 victory Saturday night.

The Indians had won four straight games at Progressive Field, but wasted a strong start by Carlos Carrasco and the energy from their second-largest crowd of the season — 28,733.

“Those guys played good and our guys played good, too,” said Carrasco, who allowed two runs in seven innings. “Everybody on our team tried their hardest. That’s baseball. Sometimes we score runs, sometimes we don’t. It’s part of the game.”

Cleveland reliever Zach McAllister (2-3) entered to start the eighth with the game tied 2-2. He retired the first two batters before being chased by Stephen Vogt’s single.

Marc Rzepczynski promptly surrendered a single to Ben Zobrist and walked Josh Reddick, loading the bases for Butler. He greeted Bryan Shaw with a laser inside the first-base line to score two runs.

As Butler reached second base, he was struck by the throw from right fielder Brandon Moss, allowing Reddick to head home and give Oakland a 5-2 lead.

“Shaw made a real good pitch on a breaking ball to Butler, but you can’t have a fielder everywhere,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “It’s what led up to that at-bat that really hurt. We tried to set it up for (Rzepczynski), but it didn’t work.”

First baseman Carlos Santana, catcher Roberto Perez and rookie third baseman Giovanny Urshela had two hits each for Cleveland, which fell three games below .500 (42-45).

Santana hit a two-run, two-out homer in the eighth off Athletics reliever Edward Mujica, making him 9 for 20 (.450) with four RBIs on the homestand.

“Right now, I’m feeling comfortable and I’m not swinging at bad pitches,” said Santana, whose season average is .223. “I’m keeping my head up, no matter what happens. I know me. Tito (Francona), he knows. I can help my team.”

Left-hander Eric O’Flaherty (1-2) gave up an RBI single to Perez in the seventh, but picked up the win. Oakland closer Tyler Clippard retired all four batters he faced for his 17th save.

Carrasco, who leads the Indians with 10 victories, allowed six hits while striking out seven. He is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts since falling one out shy of throwing a no-hitter at Tampa Bay on July 1.

Athletics right-hander Chris Bassitt — a Toledo native and University of Akron product — made his first career appearance in Ohio. He allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings one day after Akron announced it was eliminating its baseball program.

FAMILY AFFAIR

Former Indians OF Tito Francona threw the ceremonial first pitch to his son Terry, Cleveland’s manager. The elder Francona, who played in the majors from 1956-1970, lives near Pittsburgh and is attending the three-game series. Tito Francona was a member of the Indians from 1959-1964, while Terry — also nicknamed Tito — played for the team in 1988.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (left triceps strain) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session before the game and reported no problems. He exited his last start Wednesday at the Yankees after three innings.

Indians: LHP Nick Hagadone (back strain) played catch at Progressive Field and could begin a rehabilitation assignment after the All-Star break. He was placed on the disabled list on July 7.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray, a member of the AL All-Star team, makes his second start since returning from salmonella poisoning. He allowed three runs in six innings Tuesday against the Yankees.

Indians: RHP Corey Kluber recorded his first win since May 28 when he pitched 6 2-3 scoreless innings Tuesday against Houston. The reigning AL Cy Young winner is 0-3 in his career against Oakland.

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