A's seek fourth straigth win against reeling Tribe
By Adam Berry / MLB.com | 8/19/2012 1:30 AM
The Indians' losing skid continued on Saturday night,
and they'll enter Sunday's series finale with the
same goal as A's right-hander Jarrod Parker: Right the
While the A's have won four in a row, Parker has lost
three straight and hasn't put a mark in the win column
since July 21 against the Yankees. He gave up five runs in
his last start, all in the fifth inning, and couldn't
finish that frame.
Overall this month, the young righty is 0-3 with a 5.71
ERA, bringing him to 2-4 with a 6.15 ERA and a .309
opponents' average over his last seven starts.
"I think this team has kind of gone off pitching all
year, and it's something where we set the tone,"
Parker said. "It's been a little bumpy as of late,
but it's where we'll make a few adjustments and get
right back on track."
Parker said he and pitching coach Curt Young have noticed a
flaw in his delivery, causing some of his outside pitches
to float back toward the middle of the plate. He's been
working on keeping his motion compact, finishing pitches
and keeping his hand on top of the ball, hoping that will
get him back to the way he pitched over his first 13
starts, when he went 5-3 with a 2.46 ERA.
"It's so simple, but it's pretty easy to get
away from," Parker said. "It's one of those
things where a couple bad pitches here or there make the
difference from a good outing to a great outing. I had a
couple walks and what-not. I'm not happy with those.
Obviously just try to move forward and not look back too
Cleveland, meanwhile, can't afford to look back. The
Indians have gone 4-17 over their last 21 games, dropping
to 11 1/2 games back of the American League Central-leading
White Sox. Cleveland is also the ninth team in line for a
Wild Card spot in the AL, having fallen well out of
But manager Manny Acta spoke highly of the way his club has
survived such a stretch, praising his players' attitude
and choosing to put a positive spin on such a difficult
"These guys have handled everything very well.
It's a good opportunity for them to build character,
and it's an opportunity for us to see how they handle
this situation and go about their business," Acta
said. "They have been good. There are only so many
things you can control.
"They've been playing hard, but they aren't
Bugs Bunny. They can only play their position."
Indians: Tribe finding trouble holding runners
Cleveland's season-long difficulties dealing with
baserunners continued Saturday night, when Oakland stole
two bases and was caught once.
The Indians entered the game having allowed 101 stolen
bases, with a 20 percent throw-out rate, second-worst in
the AL. Most of that can be placed on the Tribe's
pitching staff, Acta said, from veteran Ubaldo Jimenez to
their younger starters.
"We have two of the best throwing catchers in the
league," Acta said, "but the past two years, we
are not doing a very good job of holding runners.
"It's about offsetting [the runner's] timing
by sometimes holding the ball longer or by changing the
look," he added. "There are different things you
can do. It's not just speeding up."
• Cody Allen allowed two hits but no earned runs in
two-thirds of an inning Saturday night, running his streak
of consecutive shutout innings to 13 since being called up
from Triple-A Columbus on July 20. That's the longest
such streak to begin a career exclusively in relief with
the Indians dating back to 1974, according to available
research from STATS LLC.
A's: Anderson close to returning
Left-hander Brett Anderson tossed a 40-pitch bullpen
session Saturday and feels ready to return to the A's
rotation. Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Anderson will be
back soon, adding "we will find a way to get him in
there somehow." Anderson, coming back from Tommy John
surgery, has made five Minor League rehab starts with
Triple-A Sacramento. He hasn't pitched for the A's
since June 5, 2011.
"I'm very eager to get back and pitch for this
team," Anderson said.
• Oakland should also see the return of third baseman
Brandon Inge fairly soon. He said he is "way ahead of
schedule" in his recovery from a sprained right
shoulder and expects to come off the disabled list when
he's eligible on Aug. 27.
"I don't put anything past him," Melvin said.
"He is a guy with a high threshold of pain
• Seth Smith, on the other hand, was eligible to come off
the DL on Saturday but is still recovering from a strained
left hamstring. He took batting practice and ran the bases
for the second day in a row, and Melvin said the outfielder
was getting closer to a rehab assignment.
• Cleveland has held a lead at some point in eight of its
last 17 losses.
• The A's snapped a streak of seven straight games with
nine or more strikeouts Saturday night, whiffing only four
times to break the longest such streak in franchise