The most successful opening road trip for the Cleveland Indians since 1988 concludes Sunday after the Tribe won its seventh in eight games with a 5-1 win over Oakland behind three RBI from Jason Kipnis.
The Indians, winners of their first three road series for the first time since 1988, clinched its series with Oakland with its second win in as many tries over the A’s with Kipnis driving in a run in the sixth with a single and two more in the eighth with a triple.
Jeanmar Gomez, (1-0) who went 5.1 innings and left with a 2-1 advantage, allowed a run on four hits with a walk and three strike outs. Five Cleveland relief pitchers kept the worst offense in the American League in check, giving up four hits over the final 3.2 innings with Chris Perez getting the final out with two runners on for his sixth save.
After the Indians loaded the bases in the first, Travis Hafner brought home a run with a dribbler down the first base line. It held up until the sevneth when Kipnis singled home Jason Donald, who singled with one out and stole second to get into scoring position.
The lone Oakland run came in the sixth when Cliff Pennington led off with a double and came in on a sacfirice fly from Yoenis Cespedes. Oakland did threaten in the ninth when Johnny Gomes singled with one out and Daric Barton followed with a double but failed to score.
Brandon McCarthy (0-3) got little support in the loss, giving up just two runs on 10 hits in 7.0 innings with three walks and four strike outs.
The Indians got three runs off Brian Fuentes, with the big blow Kipnis’ triple that could have been caught but was misplayed by Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick into the 3-base, 2-run hit.
Cleveland, 8-5 with the win spoiled a celebratory night for the A’s, who were honoring the 40th anniversary of Oakland’s 1972 World Series champions. It was the first of three straight World Series claimed by the A’s of Charlie Finley.
Following a Sunday afternoon game with Oakland, the Indians return home Tuesday to begin a 3-game series with Kansas City with a 3-game weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels beginning Friday.