Cabrera busts slump, top of Tribe order lifts team to 7-1 win
OAKLAND, CA -- Asdrubal Cabrera broke a 0-for-20 slump with two RBI hits and Ubaldo Jimenez took a no hitter into the sixth, as the Cleveland Indians beat the Oakland A's 7-1 Saturday night at o.CO Coliseum.
Cabrera, who is suffering through the worst hitting season of his career, put the Indians on top with a RBI double in the first, picking up two hits for the first time in seven games.
The Indians wasted no time against Oakland starter Dan Straily, who struggled to hit his spots early. After striking out Michael Bourn to begin the game, Nick Swisher launched a solo home run to right, putting the Tribe up 1-0. After another strikeout, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley drew back-to-back two-out walks. Cabrera, who lined into a double play to end Friday's game, followed with a single to right, scoring Santana from second.
Straily (6-7, 4.22) settled in after the rocky first inning, however, allowing just four base runners over the next four innings.
In the sixth, the Indians lineup broke through for another run as Brantley and Cabrera hit back-to-back doubles to extend the Cleveland lead to 3-0. Following the doubles and a strikeout of Jason Giambi, Straily was pulled in favor of Jerry Blevins who retired the side.
After Oakland plated their first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth, Bourn lined a homer off Blevins, his fifth of the season, to right to put the Indians up 4-1. Bourn, who had just one hit in his last 20 at-bats, added a two-out single in the ninth to raise his season average to .269.
With two outs in the ninth, Drew Stubbs and Bourn singled to put an insurance run at second. Swisher drove home Stubbs with a single to right, picking up his second RBI of the game. With runners on second and third following a throw home on Swisher's single, Jason Kipnis lined a single to left, driving home both runners and extending the Cleveland lead to 7-1.
Five Indians had two hits apiece as Cleveland tallied 11 hits overall. Bourn, Swisher, and Kipnis combined to pack a punch at the top of lineup, driving in five runs.
Ubaldo Jimenez was effectively wild over five and two-thirds innings, walking five and striking out eight. He took a no hitter into the sixth inning as his pitch count ballooned. With one out in the inning, Jimenez struck Josh Reddick on an 0-2 pitch. After walking the next hitter on four straight pitches, Jimenez retired Brandon Moss on three straight strikes to get the second out of the inning. Josh Donaldson broke up the no hitter and shutout on the first pitch of the next at-bat, driving a single to center that plated Reddick.
Jimenez was pulled after the RBI-single, allowing just one earned run on one hit. Over his past 15 starts, Jimenez has issued 5.2 walks per nine innings. He has posted a 2.90 ERA over the same period.
Rich Hill, Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith, and Matt Albers combined to hold the A's to just two hits through the rest of the game.
The Indians will look to take the series against Oakland Sunday at 4:05 p.m. Scott Kazmir (7-5, 4.18) will make his first start since a three inning outing against the Angels on August 9th. He will be opposed by A's southpaw Tommy Milone (9-9, 4.39).
Notes: The Indians are now 3.5 games out of the second spot in the American League Wild Card. … Ubaldo Jimenez is now 6-4 following an Indians loss.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.