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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tomlin's gem wasted in Indians' 3-1 loss

Thursday, May 5, 2011

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) ? By the time Cleveland's Josh Tomlin figured out not to throw fastballs to Oakland outfielder David DeJesus, the best team in the American League didn't have much of a chance to keep its seven-game winning streak going.

Tomlin gave up just three hits — two of them solo home runs to the light-hitting DeJesus — and the Indians stranded 10 baserunners in a 3-1 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday.

"It is frustrating but that happens," said Tomlin after his first loss in six starts this season. "If I lock in better against DeJesus maybe that's not the outcome of the game. But I've also won games where I've given up seven runs so it all equals out."

DeJesus hit his first two home runs of the season, ending the second-longest power drought of his career. The only other hit allowed by Tomlin came on Cliff Pennington's two-out single in the eighth.

That was the last batter Tomlin (4-1) faced as manager Manny Acta had reliever Tony Sipp close out the inning.

It didn't help that Cleveland couldn't get much going against Oakland starter Trevor Cahill.

Cahill (5-0) gave up five hits and three walks in seven innings and matched his career-high with 116 pitches.

"It was a well-pitched ballgame by both sides," Acta said. "I thought Tomlin was fantastic. Just attacked the strike zone, threw an unbelievable amount of strikes. He deserved better but they pitched very well, too."

DeJesus' two home runs were two of just four hits in the game for the offensively challenged A's, and all they needed behind Cahill, their ace.

Grant Balfour allowed only a walk in the ninth for his first save this season.

Tomlin struck out five and walked none in 7 2-3 innings. He didn't allow a baserunner besides DeJesus until Mark Ellis reached on an error in the eighth when third baseman Jack Hannahan bobbled a grounder, and Coco Crisp drove him in on a single to give Oakland a 3-1 lead.

DeJesus broke out of his slump with a solo home run that just cleared the right-field wall in the first inning. That snapped a 55-game streak without a home run for DeJesus that dated to last season, the second-longest of his career.

After the Indians evened the score on Travis Hafner's two-out RBI single in the third, DeJesus hit his second home run to deep right-center field to put Oakland back in front. It was the first multihomer game of the season for any A's player, and it couldn't have come from a more unlikely source.

"They were both fastballs," Tomlin said. "One was in — I was trying to go in for a purpose — but I guess it didn't go in enough. The second one I was trying to throw the two-seamer down away and it stayed middle."

DeJesus had never had two home runs in a game in nine seasons in the majors, and he was hitting just .227 entering the game.

"It's pretty cool," DeJesus said of his first multihomer game. "Not even in little league cause I was a bunter back in the day."

The Indians have surprisingly been off to one of baseball's best starts this season and could have equaled their best start in franchise history through 29 games had they won another. The only time they began a season 21-8 was in 1920.

The only serious threat the Indians mounted off Cahill came in the third, when Grady Sizemore led off the inning with a double. Carlos Santana walked with two outs before Hafner's single, and Cahill got Orlando Cabrera to ground out and end the threat.

NOTES: Cahill also threw 116 pitches on Sept. 4 in a 3-1 win over the Angels last season. ... A's All-Star closer Andrew Bailey faced hitters before the game, throwing about 25 pitches — only fastballs — at full velocity. Bailey hasn't pitched this season because of a strained right forearm. The team will decide Thursday what the next step is for Bailey. ... Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco threw a light bullpen session back in Cleveland. He will pitch about 4-5 innings for Double-A Akron on Friday, Acta said. ... Oakland C Kurt Suzuki was given the night off with a day game Thursday. ... Entering Wednesday night's game, the Indians had won four straight games in their last at-bat. The last time they had done that was July 2-5, 1962.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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