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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 18th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Indians (66-57) at Oakland Athletics (69-53), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Scott Kazmir (7-5, 4.18) Oakland - Tommy Milone (9-9, 4.39)
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams making a push for the postseason conclude their three-game set on Sunday as the Cleveland Indians take on the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum.
The Indians were led by Asdrubal Cabrera, Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis, who drove in two runs apiece, as they claimed a 7-1 win in the second chapter of the series on Saturday. The victory avenged the Tribe's 3-2 loss to the A's in the opener on Friday.
Dan Straily had a tough outing and took the loss on Saturday for Oakland, which went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. Josh Donaldson was responsible for two of the team's three hits and also the only RBI. Yoenis Cespedes went 1-for-3 with a walk. The Home Run Derby champion is batting .289 over his past nine games.
"We continue to go back and forth a little bit offensively," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We have to grind our way through it, get a couple of games in a row, and start feeling a little bit better about ourselves."
Tommy Milone was recalled from the Triple-A ranks to start in place of Bartolo Colon, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. Milone was shelled in his last MLB start, giving up six runs on nine hits in only 3 2/3 innings against the Rangers. He has allowed one unearned run in 13 innings to split his last two starts versus Cleveland.
The Indians gave Scott Kazmir extra rest for his start on Sunday after he gave up five runs in three innings versus the Angels on Aug. 9. The southpaw was solid against the A's on May 9, fanning 10 batters while holding them to just one run over six innings for a win.
"We were in a tough spot," Kazmir said of his last start. "I felt like, kind of leading up to the fifth day, that I can go out there and gut it out, and it just didn't work out. It was something where I just tried to battle through, every single pitch, and just tried to get quick outs. It just didn't work."
The Indians went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position in Friday's loss before going 4-for-11 on Saturday. Swisher is 4-for-8 with a home run, three RBI and three runs in the series.
In the month of August, Kipnis is batting .293 but has failed to go yard. Cabrera had gone hitless in his previous 20 plate appearances before going 2- for-4 with his 27th double of the year on Saturday.
Oakland trails Texas in the AL West by 1 1/2 games and is the owner of the final wild card spot.
The Indians are six games behind the first-place Tigers in the AL Central standings. They are just 3 1/2 games back in the wild card race after winning four of their previous five games.
After losing eight straight to the Athletics to close out last year's season series, the Indians opened up the 2013 matchup with a four-game sweep at home from May 6-9.
08/18 10:31:33 ET