EditorsNote: changes/additions to 4th graf
Roberto Perez belted a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning as the visiting Cleveland Indians averted a three-game series sweep with a 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
Carlos Santana had an RBI double and Jordan Luplow added a sacrifice fly for the Indians, who won for just the second time in their last 11 games in Oakland.
Jefry Rodriguez (1-2), who saw Cleveland shut out in two of his other three starts this season, welcomed the run support on Sunday. He picked up his first win after allowing three runs on six hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out three.
Matt Olson launched a mammoth solo homer in the sixth inning, and Jurickson Profar and Stephen Piscotty had back-to-back two-out RBI singles in the third inning for the Athletics, who fell for just the second time in six games. Khris Davis went 2-for-4 in his return lineup after missing the last three games with a left hip contusion.
Carlos Gonzalez and Luplow slapped one-out singles to put runners on the corners in the sixth inning before Ryan Buchter relieved starter Daniel Mengden (0-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to the game. Buchter retired the first batter he faced before Perez deposited his first-pitch fastball over the wall in left-center field to give Cleveland a 5-2 lead.
Olsen fouled off four straight pitches in the sixth before sending a 1-2 fastball from Rodriguez over the wall in right field. Olson’s first homer of the season trimmed Oakland’s deficit to 5-3.
The Indians’ bullpen kept the Athletics at bay, with Adam Cimber striking out two in the seventh inning and Nick Wittgren fanning one in the eighth. Brad Hand retired the side in order in the ninth for his 11th save in as many opportunities.
Santana deposited a 1-1 curveball from Mengden off the right-field wall to plate Francisco Lindor to open the scoring in the first inning, before Luplow doubled the advantage by driving in Mike Freeman.
Oakland answered in the third, as Profar’s single allowed Ramon Laureano to score just ahead of the throw of center fielder Leonys Martin. Profar advanced to second on the throw and forged a tie at 2 after scoring on Piscotty’s single to center.
—Field Level Media