CLEVELAND — For a team leading the wild-card race, the A’s couldn’t have hand-picked a better opponent to play in the four-game series that ended Thursday.
The A’s, who have won six games in a row and 12 of their past 14, took advantage of the reeling Cleveland Indians, belting four home runs and beating Cleveland 12-7. Oakland is 9-2 vs. Cleveland this year.
With the victory, the A’s maintained their one-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the wild-card race while completing their first four-game sweep of the Indians in Cleveland since 2002.
The A’s, who got home runs from Coco Crisp, Cliff Pennington, Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson, took control of the game with a 10-run outburst in the middle innings.
“We played against a team we really needed to take a series from,” Reddick said. “We had a great opportunity to move up in the standings against a team we’ve played well against all year, and we did just that.”
A’s starter Jarrod Parker, handed an early 6-1 lead, gave up five runs in five innings, but that was good enough for the win, improving his record to 9-7. Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (10-12) only lasted four innings and was charged with eight runs on eight hits.
“It’s embarrassing to get that kind of lead and not work efficiently and get back in that dugout,” said Parker, who was removed from the game after giving up two hits and a walk to the first three batters in the sixth inning.
Cleveland took an early 1-0 lead on a home run by leadoff hitter Jason Kipnis in the first, but it was all Oakland after that.
George Kottaras slammed a three-run double into the gap in right-center field, and Pennington followed with a two-run homer to extend the Oakland lead to 6-1 and the A’s never looked back.