On Sunday, the Indians sent Scott Kazmir to the mound against Tommy Milone of the A’s in the series finale of a three game series in Oakland. After splitting the first two games of the series, the hope was that Kazmir would shut down the A’s and guide the Indians to a much-needed series win. It wouldn’t happen as the A’s defeated Kazmir and the Indians by a score of 7-3.
Excuse the pun, but Kazmir just didn’t have his A-game on Sunday afternoon. He lasted only five innings allowing five runs on 10 hits and two walks. He did strike out four A’s, but it was not enough to make up for a shaky performance.
Meanwhile, Tommy Milone also struggled a bit in his first start since being recalled from triple-A. Sunday’s original starter was supposed to be Bartolo Colon, but a recent groin injury forced him to the DL and thrust Milone back into the rotation. All he did was pitch 4.2 innings. He allowed three runs to cross the plate on six hits and was pulled from the game as the Tribe began to put together a serious rally.
The A’s got the scoring going early plating two runs in the bottom half of the first inning to make it 2-0. They then added a third run in the bottom of the second, but not before the Ryan Raburn put the Indians on the board with a solo home run to deep center field. The home run was Raburn’s 15th of the season and continued his most recent hot streak at the plate.
The Indians would tie things up in the top of the fifth thanks to the efforts of Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana. Both players delivered clutch RBI hits to score runs and make it a 3-3 ball game. Unfortunately for the Tribe, that would signal the end of the line for them in the scoring department. The A’s bullpen shut them out while limiting them to just three hits from the sixth inning on.
The A’s got home runs from Chris Young and Alberto Callaspo in the bottom half of the fifth off Kazmir to make it a 5-3 ball game. Then in the eighth inning, an error by first baseman Nick Swisher allowed the A’s sixth run of the game to score. A single by Josh Donaldson would plate the A’s seventh and final run of the game and secured them the 7-1 victory.
The Good: Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, and Asdrubal Cabrera each went 2 for 4. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to give the Indians a much-needed victory. Ryan Raburn also homered for the 15th time this season and continues to look like the best signing of the offseason.
The Bad: Scott Kazmir was roughed up again. After pitching so well for much of June and July, Kazmir has begun to look human once again. Is it possible that his arm is starting to get tired thanks to the heaviest workload he has had in years or is this just a rough patch? We’ll have to wait and find out.