Major League Baseball

A’s aim to seal series win over Indians

ATHLETICS (23-25) AT INDIANS (25-21)
6:10 p.m. ET; ST-OH, NBCSCA, MLB.TV

The Cleveland Indians have yet to win a series this season after losing the opener.

They will look to take the first step toward accomplishing that mission on Tuesday when they play the second contest of a three-game series against the visiting Oakland Athletics.

Matt Chapman once again hurt Cleveland on Monday, belting a homer and driving in three runs as Oakland extended its winning streak to a season-high-tying four games with a 6-4 victory.

Chapman also launched a solo homer in the 12th inning of a 4-3 win over the Indians on May 10.

Matt Olson homered for the fourth time in eight games, and Jurickson Profar also went deep for the Athletics, who played the opener without Khris Davis. The slugger has a lingering hip issue but does not expect a trip to the injured list.

“We’ve been talking about it being day-to-day. If he doesn’t play a day, we gain some ground, and when he plays, it stays the same,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re incrementally trying to gain a little ground and get him better. Hopefully, he feels that much better and he can play, but at this point, we don’t feel like it’s an IL situation.”

The Athletics look to flex their muscle against Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer, who aims to rebound after allowing two homers and a career-high-tying seven earned runs Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. It was the second time in three outings he yielded seven earned runs.

Bauer (4-2, 3.76 ERA) also walked four batters during his season-low-tying five-inning performance versus Baltimore, but he was fortunate to walk away with his second straight no-decision.

Bauer allowed two runs, both unearned, on as many hits and struck out 10 for the third time this season in a no-decision at Oakland on May 11.

The 28-year-old sports a 1-3 mark with a 3.38 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland. Davis (5-for-12, homer), Profar (3-for-10) and Marcus Semien (3-for-10) have enjoyed success versus Bauer.

Oakland has won three of four against Cleveland this season and 10 of the teams’ past 13 encounters. The Indians, meanwhile, will attempt to prevail in a series after losing its first game after going 0-3-3 in such scenarios to start the season.

Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez belted a solo homer in the series opener, marking the third time he’s gone deep in the past six games.

“To be honest, I’m not trying to do too much at the plate, I’m just trying to go up there and try to be aggressive with a plan,” the 30-year-old said. “I’m just trying to stay within myself and trust my hands.”

Perez is 8-for-26 (.308) with seven RBIs in his past eight contests.

“At the beginning of the season, it was tough for him like a lot of our guys, but he stayed at it,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Now he’s hitting the ball to right field. It makes him a much more dangerous hitter.”

Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis has hit safely in 10 of 13 contests and is riding an on-base streak of 15 games. Francisco Lindor homered in the ninth inning Monday to give him a hit in 13 of his past 14 outings.

The Indians will test their mettle against Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt (2-1, 1.93 ERA), who scattered four hits and struck out seven over eight scoreless innings in a 17-3 romp at Detroit on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Toledo, Ohio, native and former University of Akron pitcher owns an 0-1 mark with a 3.38 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in two career starts versus the Indians. Both outings were in 2015.

–Field Level Media

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