Offense misses cross-country trip to Oakland

Offense misses cross-country trip to Oakland

OAKLAND -- The Indians arrived in Oakland riding the high of a series that had an October feel to it. Cleveland and Toronto clashed in a classic set, which featured a packed Progressive Field, late-inning heroics and a level of intensity typically reserved for the postseason.

Then, the Indians scored three runs over three days at the Coliseum.

"That's tough to go from playing a really intense, emotional series at home," Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer said after a 5-1 loss on Wednesday, "and travel across country. It's hard to get up. I think you probably saw a little bit of that maybe this series. I don't think anybody here is worried about that continuing the rest of this season."

More to the point: The Indians hope it does not carry over into Thursday.

That is when the Tribe will head to Texas for another series -- a four-game litmus test against the American League West-leading Rangers -- that could have postseason implications. Between the sets with Toronto and Texas, however, there was Oakland, where the A's tamed a Tribe offense that has featured one of the more surprising casts of characters in the Majors this year.

The starting trio of Andrew Triggs, Sean Manaea and Kendall Graveman hardly looked intimidated by a Cleveland lineup that has posted the second-highest run total in the AL this season. As a group, those three spun a 0.92 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and .179 opponents' average over the three games against Cleveland. The Indians were fortunate in that they escaped with one victory, a 1-0 win on Monday night.

"Boy, hopefully we just have three days of amnesia," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "They did a number on us."

Across 27 innings in the East Bay, Cleveland's only offensive output was three solo homers via Carlos Santana (Monday), Chris Gimenez (Tuesday) and Roberto Perez (Wednesday). There were also some pitching troubles -- Danny Salazar allowed six runs on Tuesday and Bauer was on the hill for a five-run second inning on Wednesday -- but the lineup's ineffectiveness was the larger issue overall.

Athletics' five-run 2nd inning

This is the same A's team that the Indians swept at home last month, while scoring 19 runs in three games.

"Not only do they have speed, a certain amount of power, they have a bunch of switch-hitters," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's almost impossible to get your matchups against these guys. For us to pitch as well as we did is pretty impressive. We saw them over at their place and it was a completely different story."

Cleveland's knack for in-game rallies, which have erased many a deficit this season in the team's run to the top of the AL Central, was absent against Oakland.

"They pitched us tough," Indians first baseman Mike Napoli said. "We just couldn't get it going. We've been on a good streak of getting a little rally going and scoring runs. It's just one of those days. They flat-out beat us. We had some good pitching. We just couldn't get anything going."

Bauer said the Indians have been good at turning the page on tough games this year.

Napoli added that Cleveland must do that once again.

"We've got a big series coming up," said Napoli, referring to the next four games in Texas. "We have to go out and try to compete [Thursday], execute a plan and get back on track."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.