American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 17th (All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (26-16) at Cleveland Indians (19-23), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Scott Kazmir (5-1, 2.28) Cleveland - Josh Tomlin (2-0, 2.13)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The team with the most wins in the American League tries to improve upon an already impressive road record Saturday as the Oakland Athletics play the second of a three-game set versus the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Oakland, which is 14-6 away from home, posted another road victory on Friday night thanks to an 11-1 thrashing of the Indians. The visitors, winners of seven of the last eight outings overall, exploded for eight runs in the second inning as Josh Reddick delivered a grand slam and Josh Donaldson connected on a three-run home run shortly thereafter.
Reddick had two home runs on the night, accounting for six RBI and a pair of runs scored.
Enjoying a huge cushion on the scoreboard, Oakland starter Sonny Gray posted his fifth victory of the season as he allowed just a single run on two hits and three walks, striking out nine in six innings of work.
Over on the other side, Cleveland starter Zach McAllister wasn't nearly as lucky. McAllister was charged with all eight runs on five hits and three walks, in a mere 1 1/3 innings of action. Since starting the season 3-0, McAllister has dropped four straight.
"I know I haven't pitched my best," McAllister stated. "Obviously, you're going to have some peaks and valleys. Right now, I'm down, as far as the way I've been pitching lately. I know I've got to get back up to that middle ground and pitch better."
From an offensive standpoint, the Indians managed just three hits, one of those a solo home run by Nick Swisher in the bottom of the first inning which gave the hosts an early lead before falling apart. Swisher also struck out three times on the night.
Seeking his sixth win of the young season is Oakland left-hander Scott Kazmir. A member of the Indians himself last season, Kazmir is coming off one of his strongest outings of the campaign, having held Washington scoreless over seven innings last weekend. The Houston native surrendered just four hits and struck out four during the victory.
For his career, Kazmir has a mark of 2-3 with a 5.17 ERA in nine all-time appearances versus the Tribe.
Meanwhile, the hosts are slated to hand the ball to Josh Tomlin who is making just his fourth appearance since the end of the 2012 campaign. The right- hander came up from Triple-A earlier in the month and has managed to post a pair of wins in as many outings.
Last week Tomlin made it through six innings against Tampa Bay on the road, permitting two runs on six hits in the 6-5 triumph.
Despite breaking in with Cleveland back in 2010, Tomlin is making just his second start all-time versus Oakland.
Over the last week the A's have been one of the hottest-hitting teams in the AL, posting a collective average of .296. Even more impressive is their staggering 16 home runs, providing them with a slugging percentage of .551 which is nearly 100 points higher than any other club during the same stretch. Cleveland just happens to be the team in second place in that department at .452.
The season series is now tied at two games apiece, with Cleveland having enjoyed a 5-2 edge in head-to-head meetings last year and Oakland posting an 8-2 mark in 2012.
05/17 10:26:48 ET