Indians 9, Athletics 2: No replay needed; sweep completed
Indians manager Terry Francona, second from right, congratulates center fielder Drew Stubbs after the Indians won for the 10th time in 11 games.
CLEVELAND — Everything is going the Indians’ way. There’s no dispute or debate about that.
The day after the home run-that-wasn’t, Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds connected for homers and Scott Kazmir struck out 10 in six innings, leading Cleveland to a 9-2 win over Oakland yesterday to complete a four-game sweep.
The Indians ended the series with a convincing blowout, only hours after they won 4-3 with the help of a blown call in the ninth inning when umpires, after watching a video replay, ruled that an apparent tying home run by the Athletics’ Adam Rosales was a double.
Major League Baseball acknowledged the umpires made an “improper call,” but executive vice president Joe Torre said the “judgment” decision of Angel Hernandez and crew is final.
There was no argument yesterday as the Indians won for the 10th time in 11 games.
“Our starting pitching is giving us a chance to win,” manager Terry Francona said. “We have a very good bullpen. We’re playing well defensively. A lot of guys are contributing offensively. That’s a good way to play baseball.”
Kipnis hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Bartolo Colon (3-2) as the Indians improved to 13-4 since April 20. They got more good news after the game when center fielder Michael Bourn was activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing nearly a month because of a cut finger.
Bourn will be ready for a three-game series at Detroit starting tonight. To make room, the Indians optioned left-hander Scott Barnes to the Clippers.
Kazmir (2-1), a lefty who wasn’t pitching professionally at this time last year, allowed one run and five hits.
“I’m not thinking about last year or what happened before that,” Kazmir said. “I’m looking ahead. I’m throwing the ball well right now. I’m feeling better every time out.”
Josh Donaldson homered for the A’s, who fell to .500 for the first time since April 4 when they were 2-2. Oakland is just 6-14 after starting 12-4.
“They’re playing great and can’t do anything wrong and we’re struggling,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
The Indians were leading by six runs when MLB released its statement indicating that Hernandez had erred. TV replays showed Rosales’ shot off Chris Perez easily cleared the 19-foot-high wall.
“Given what we saw, we recognize that an improper call was made,” Torre said. “Perfection is an impossible standard in any endeavor, but our goal is always to get the calls right. Earlier this morning, we began the process of speaking with the crew to thoroughly review all the circumstances surrounding last night’s decision.”