Like the majority of Tribe games since after the All-Star break, the Indians fell behind early, struggled offensively, and lost. The offense failed against Jabba the Hutt Colon and Oakland scored runs the only way they can - opportunistically. The Indians lost for the 25th time in their last 35 games and have one road win since July 18. With an 8-5 loss to the Athletics, the Indians are now just 4-13 in August.
The first two-and-a-half innings went without a hitch for either pitcher. Colon set the first nine Indians down in order while Corey Kluber worked around a first inning single and a second inning walk. The third inning was less enjoyable for Kluber. The inning started with an error on Asdrubal Cabrera on a play where he had to throw on the move and it was far from routine. After a sac bunt and a walk, Oakland successfully completed a double steal to put two men in scoring position. Kluber gave himself a chance to minimize the damage by retiring Friday night's hero Josh Donaldson on a ground out that scored Cliff Pennington. Unfortunately, Kluber couldn't get out of the inning. Josh Reddick doubled to score Coco Crisp and then Yoenis Cespedes followed with a two-run laser beam the just cleared the scoreboard wall in left center. Down 4-0, climbing out of the hole seemed like a tall task.
In the fourth, the Indians made a valiant attempt at a rally, but it fell short. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled with one out and Shin-Soo Choo singled to right. With men on the corners, Carlos Santana hit into an inning-ending double play. Naturally, Santana would homer later in the game with nobody on base and the Indians down by five.
The middle innings were rather uneventful as Corey Kluber completed his five-and-fly, allowing four runs, all unearned, on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Frank Herrmann came on in relief and allowed an insurance run in the sixth on a George Kottaras single.
The aforementioned Santana home run in the seventh with two outs kept the Indians from being shut out for the sixth time this season. It was Santana's 13th home run of the season, putting him nearly halfway to the 27 he belted in 2011.
The Athletics added another run to make it a 6-1 game and I turned it off. Yahoo's box score told me that Choo hit a two-run homer in the ninth to make it an 8-3 game. While watching the box score hoping the game would mercifully end, Brent Lillibridge homered to cosmetically improve the score to 8-5. After Jason Donald singled to extend the game, I turned it back on. Ezequiel Carrera promptly struck out to the game.
With the loss, the Indians fell to 12 games below .500 for the first time this season at 54-66. The A's kept pace with the victorious Orioles and moved into the second wild card spot with their win and Tampa's loss.
Stat of the Night: If the Indians continue the path they're on, they will go 7-22 in August. (It took me a while to find this stat). That would be the worst win percentage for a month since September of 1971.
Player of the Game: Nobody.
Tomorrow's Game: Unfortunately, there is a game tomorrow. Justin Masterson takes the mound for the Tribe. First pitch from Oakland's Jarrod Parker will be at 4:05.