Everything is going the Indians’ way. There’s no dispute or debate about that.
One day after the home run that wasn’t, Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds connected for homers and Scott Kazmir struck out 10 in six innings, leading Cleveland to a 9-2 win over Oakland on Thursday and a four-game sweep of the Athletics.
The Indians ended the series with a convincing blowout, only hours after they won 4-3 with the help of a blown call in the ninth inning when umpires, after watching a video replay, ruled that an apparent tying home run by Oakland’s Adam Rosales was a double.
Major League Baseball acknowledged the umpires made an “improper call,” but executive vice president Joe Torre said the “judgment” decision is final.
There was no argument on Thursday as the Indians put a resounding thumping on the A’s and won for the 10th time in 11 games.
“Our starting pitching is giving us a chance to win,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We have a very good bullpen. We’re playing well defensively. A lot of guys are contributing offensively. That’s a good way to play baseball.”
Kipnis hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Bartolo Colon (3-2) for the Indians, who improved to 13-4 since April 20. They got more good news after the game when center fielder Michael Bourn was activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing nearly one month with a cut finger.
Bourn will be ready for a three-game series against first-place Detroit starting today.
Kazmir (2-1), who at this time last year wasn’t even pitching professionally, allowed one run and five hits. The left-hander has won consecutive starts for the first time since 2010.
“I’m not thinking about last year or what happened before that,” Kazmir said. “I’m looking ahead. I’m throwing the ball well right now. I’m feeling better every time out.”
Josh Donaldson homered for the A’s, who fell to .500 for the first time since April 4 when they were 2-2. Oakland is just 6-14 after starting 12-4.
“They’re playing great and can’t do anything wrong and we’re struggling,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s what happens. What happened last night shouldn’t affect today. They just beat us.”
The Indians were already leading by six runs when MLB released a statement indicating umpire Angel Hernandez and his crew had erred Wednesday night. After watching a video replay, they failed to reverse a call and gave Rosales a double instead of a homer.
TV replays showed Rosales’ shot off Chris Perez had easily cleared the 19-foot-high wall.