BY JIMMY DeROGATIS
The Oakland A’s mustered up a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in Mesa Saturday afternoon. Offense was hard to come by in a pitcher’s duel as Paul Blackburn faced off against Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer at the Hohokam Stadium home of the A’s.
Blackburn pitched three strong scoreless innings giving up just two hits. Bauer went four giving up two hits and one earned run. Matt Chapman provided the only run of the game by hitting a bloop fly ball over Indians first baseman Wilson Garcia’s head that ended up trickling out into foul territory allowing him to get to second base. After Matt Olson hit a ground ball to second moving Chapman to third, Bauer uncorked a wild pitch in the dirt that bounced away from the catcher allowing Olson to jog home.
Fernando Rodney came into the game in the fourth inning with nobody on, which is very different from what he’s used to, which is coming in to pitch in a scoring situation. The first batter Rodney faced was Tyler Naquin who blasted the ball to the very edge of the track. Rodney would than settle down nicely by striking out the next batter and inducing a groundball for the final out of the inning.
The A’s had only three hits and the Indians were only able to manage four on the day. Rodney got the win with his one inning of pitching while Bauer absorbed the loss. Oakland’s pitchers, Blackburn and Frankie Montas were also impressive. Both put in three solid innings of work, only allowing two hits each. A’s closer Blake Treinen also looked strong coming in for the sixth inning and retiring all three batters he faced including two strikeouts.
A’s short-stop Jorge Mateo showed off his speed late in the game by hitting a hard two-hop grounder in the gap between second and third that was fielded deep in the hold by the Indians shortstop. Mateo appeared to stumble out of the box but appeared to beat the throw. He was called out by the first base umpire, much to the dislike of the A’s fans.