Young A's arms Cotton, Puk make mark vs. Tribe

Young A's arms Cotton, Puk make mark vs. Tribe

MESA, Ariz. -- A's corner infield prospect Rangel Ravelo's go-ahead homer in the eighth inning lifted the home team past the defending American League champion Indians, 5-4, at Hohokam Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The A's also got home runs from infielders Marcus Semien and Trevor Plouffe, while the Indians relied on one from outfielder Chris Colabello in a two-run, game-tying seventh inning that also featured a triple off the bat of bench candidate Erik Gonzalez.

Prospect Matt Olson tripled and scored for the A's, who watched right-hander Jharel Cotton -- pegged for the fourth rotation spot -- strike out four batters across two innings in his Cactus League debut. The club's top pitching prospect, A.J. Puk, struck out the side in his first showing in green and gold.

As advertised: Cotton, Puk impress Melvin

Cotton didn't allow a hit but was tagged for one run in a strange second inning that featured a third-strike wild pitch, a walk and a hit batsman. The Indians secured their second run on another wild pitch in the third, after outfielder Abraham Almonte doubled and advanced to third on an error by Semien.

Indians relief extraordinaire Andrew Miller, making his second spring appearance in preparation for the World Baseball Classic with Team USA, was responsible for Plouffe's homer -- a sky-high shot to left field in third -- but didn't allow another hit in his one inning of work, striking out one.

"I've faced him a lot, so I have a good idea of what he's trying to do," Plouffe said. "It's spring. I wasn't sure if he was just working on stuff or not, but I saw him throw a lot of fastballs before my at-bat, and I said, 'Hey, maybe he's not throwing a slider,' and then he busted one off, so I said, 'OK, he's running all his pitches out there.' I wasn't trying to do too much, and that's usually when good things happen at the plate."

"[Miller] went to fastballs, which we want him to do," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "More than he would normally. That's fine. He was 91-96, so we saw a little bit of an increase. That was good."

Semien's two-run shot in the first inning off Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger was his first of the spring. The A's shortstop totaled a career-high 27 last year.

"He threw 30 pitches. That's a lot," Francona said of Clevinger, who was supposed to throw two innings. "He just didn't locate his fastball, and he knew it. Sometimes -- you don't ever want to see guys give up runs -- but in a way it kind of reinforces a lot of the things maybe that they talk about. And he'll learn from that. It's OK. You'd rather see it in February than later."

A's right-hander Andrew Triggs, in competition for the fifth-starter job, allowed one unearned run, yielding two hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Indians Up Next: Right-hander Trevor Bauer is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut with a three-inning start against the Mariners at 3:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark. Francisco Lindor, Edwin Encarnacion, Carlos Santana and Tyler Naquin are among the big leaguers expected to be in the lineup for the Tribe.

Athletics Up Next: A's ace Sonny Gray is set to make his Cactus League debut Wednesday in a road matchup with the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex, with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PT. Former Athletic Trevor Cahill gets the start for San Diego.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.