The A's kept their faint playoff hopes alive with Tuesday's 5-0 victory in the series opener, as starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (11-8) threw seven shutout innings and struck out seven batters for his 11th win of the season.Michael Wuertz and Jerry Blevins each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to preserve the win, Oakland's fifth in its last seven games.
"He threw the ball well and kept his composure throughout the game," said Oakland manager Bob Geren about Gonzalez.
Jack Cust and Jeff Larish each hit two-run homers while Coco Crisp finished 3-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored for Oakland, which sits 8 1/2 games behind Texas for the AL West lead.
A's starting pitchers have allowed three earned runs or fewer and lasted six innings or more in each of the team's past 15 games, the longest such streak in Oakland history and the lengthiest such stretch by an Athletics team since the Philadelphia A's had an 18-game run during the 1927 season.
Trevor Cahill will try to make it 16 games when he takes the mound for Oakland Wednesday night. Cahill has won four of his last five starts and previously took the hill in last Thursday's 4-3 win versus Tampa Bay. He allowed three runs in eight innings to improve to 13-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 22 starts.
Cahill, a right-hander, is 5-3 in 11 road starts this season and will face Cleveland for the second time in his career. Cahill lost to the Tribe back on July 3 of last season, as he yielded eight runs -- five earned -- in just 3 2/3 innings of a 15-3 score.
Cleveland started its homestand on a sour note last night and has lost four straight and 12 of its last 15 games. In Tuesday's series-opening setback to the visiting A's, Fausto Carmona was saddled with the loss for giving up four runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 frames.
Shin-Soo Choo and Matt LaPorta had two of Cleveland's five hits in defeat.
"We're trying to be aggressive," Choo said on the club's site. "More guys are trying to swing at the first pitch. But I don't know. A lot of misses."
The Indians will also host Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox on their current residency.
Taking the ball for Cleveland tonight will be Mitch Talbot, who is 8-10 with a 4.23 earned run average in 22 starts this season. He is winless in his past seven starts (0-4) and last toed the rubber in Thursday's 7-3 win at Kansas City. Talbot did not record a decision that day and gave up three runs -- two earned -- and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
The right-hander, who hasn't pitched past the fifth inning in each of his last three outings, faced Oakland for the first time in his career back on July 2 of this season. Talbot lasted 5 1/3 innings in that one, surrendering three runs -- two of which were earned -- in a 3-0 decision.
The A's are 5-2 against Cleveland this season and have won 10 of the past 14 matchups between the two teams.