Tribe leaves Oakland mired in five-game skid

Tribe leaves Oakland mired in five-game skid

Tribe leaves Oakland mired in five-game skid
OAKLAND -- The Indians are streaking in the wrong direction again.

Having just endured an 11-game losing streak a couple of weeks ago, the Indians have now dropped five a row with a 7-0 loss to the A's on Sunday afternoon at The Coliseum.

The Indians have lost 18 of their past 22 games, and they are 10-26 since the All-Star break.

"It's not on anybody's mind," pitcher Justin Masterson said of the 11-game losing streak. "We do a good job here of thinking every day is a new day. Each day you have to go out and do your thing. That's where we're at."

When the Indians lost 11 in a row, the first nine were on the road, and they had a 7.94 ERA during the streak. This five-game streak has also been entirely on the road, and the pitchers have a 6.98 ERA in the five games, and that doesn't even reflect the seven unearned runs they have allowed.

"We're looking to stop it tomorrow," said Manager Manny Acta, whose team begins a three-game series in Seattle on Monday. "Hopefully we'll play better baseball. We can't be thinking about that (streak). But we have given up a lot of run on the road, and that's what happened last time."

The Indians, who have a 5.63 ERA in the second half, gave up 21 runs in three games against an Oakland team that entered the weekend with the lowest batting average in the American League.

Masterson, who gave up two runs in 13 innings in his previous two starts, got knocked around by the A's. He gave up a run in the third -- after a leadoff walk came around to score -- and a run on a Brandon Moss homer in the fourth.

It got ugly in the fifth, when Masterson gave up a leadoff single to Cliff Pennington, a bunt single to Jemile Weeks and then a three-run homer to Coco Crisp. The former Indians outfielder had five RBIs, equaling his career high.

The A's knocked Masterson out of the game in the sixth, when they tacked two more runs onto his line.

Despite walking away with seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, Masterson said the only pitches he regretted were the ones that Moss and Crisp hit out.

"They happened to make me pay on the two pitches," Masterson said. "Two out of 101. Ninety-nine of them were the way I wanted them. That's in line with what we want. The final score may not show that, but that's part of the game of baseball."

Of course, it wouldn't have made a difference if Masterson had done better because the Indians did nothing against A's rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker. He gave up six hits in eight innings.

"I didn't see anything special," Shin-Soo Choo said of Parker. "Our hitters tried too much today. A lot of ground balls swinging early in the count. I think he was pretty good, but I think we were too aggressive."

The Indians had some opportunities, including getting the leadoff man on base in three innings, but they couldn't come up with a clutch hit. They left two runners on base in the second, third and sixth innings.

"I got out of a couple of jams and was able to stay in rhythm," Parker said. "I was able to throw a lot of two-seamers down in the zone and kept the ball on the ground."

The Indians were hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position in the first three innings.

"I just think that we were a little tense in those type of situations, the high leverage situations," Acta said. "It's not that we have a Murderers' Row lineup, but we have swung the bat better in low leverage situations. The guys have to relax and let the game come to them and then things will start to happen."

Jeff Fletcher is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.