Oakland scored early and continued to score in the later innings on the way to a 6-0 victory over rookie Shane Bieber and the Indians at Progressive Field. The A's won the season series, 4-2. In fact, they've won the season series from the Indians for the last three years.
Manager Terry Francona was asked about the A's before the game. He said they were similar to the Indians with the Indians enjoying an edge in the starting rotation and the A's in the bullpen.
The big difference would be the divisions they play in. The Indians are 49-39 in the AL Central and began the day with a 101/2-game lead over second-place Minnesota. The A's, meanwhile, are 50-40 and started the day trailing first-place Houston in the AL West by 10 games.
Like real estate, the big leagues are all about location, location, location.
The A's also have made a habit out of finding pitchers that give the Indians a headache. Veteran Edwin Jackson didn't beat them Saturday as he did on June 30 at the Coliseum — Jackson has won 10 straight decisions against the Tribe — but he didn't sell the farm either. He allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in a game the A's eventually won, 6-3, in 11 innings.
On Sunday, the Indians brought lefty Brett Anderson off the disabled to start against the Tribe. Anderson is 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA in five career starts against the Indians. He hadn't faced them since Aug. 27, 2012, but not much changed in the interim.
Anderson, who threw only 57 percent of his pitches for strikes, held the Indians scoreless for five innings. He walked, two, struck out three and allowed three hits. The impatient Indians spent their time chasing Anderson's two-seam fastball and slider out of the strike zone.
"I don't think it's ever been a question where he can't pitch," said manager Terry Francona. "It's like we were talking about before the game, he knows how to pitch. He's been hurt a lot.
"We had a real good opportunity in the second, runners on second and third and nobody out. But we didn't do anything with it.
"I don't think we made real good adjustments today, but sometimes you have to give the pitcher credit for sure."
Edwin Encarnacion started the second by reaching on an error. He went to third n a double by Brandon Guyer. But Anderson retired Rajai Davis on a fly ball to right, struck out Roberto Perez and popped up Erik Gonzalez.
Anderson had a 3-0 count on Gonzalez, but he swung away and popped it up to first.
"I thought they were going to pitch around him and I thought the pitch he'd get would be a fastball," said Francona, "so we let him swing. It wasn't exactly what we were looking for, which is kind of stating the obvious."
Oakland got to Bieber (4-1, 3.47) early. After Francisco Lindor lost Mark Canha's one-out pop up in the sun, Khris Davis turned it into a 1-0 lead with a double to the wall in right center in the first. The lead great to 2-0 in the second when Matt Chapman doubled and scored from third on an infield hit to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.
Stephen Piscotty made it a 4-0 game with a two-run homer in the sixth. Bieber allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
When the bullpens took over, the A's won phase as well. Dan Otero, Zach McAllister.
"Looking at it objectively, and not putting a lot of emotion into it, I think I made a lot of good pitches," said Bieber. "On the pitches I didn't execute, they beat me. It's something to learn from. I've just got to get better."
Anderson threw 96 pitches, 55 (57 percent) for strikes. Bieber threw 98 pitches, 71 (72 percent) for strikes.
Thanks for coming
The A's and Indians drew 27, 125 to Progressive Field on Sunday afternoon. First pitch was at 1:11 p.m. with a temperature of 79 degrees.
The Reds arrive at Progressive Field on Monday for a three-game interleague series. Mike Clevinger, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasaco are scheduled to face Cincinnati's Anthony DeSciafani, Sal Romano and Tyler Mahle. All three games are scheduled for 7:10 p.m. starts with SportsTime Ohio and WLKR/FM 95.3 carrying the series.