OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kendall Graveman is a big fan of motivational tapes and speeches, something the Athletics right-hander relied on quite a bit after losing six of his first seven decisions this year.
How quickly things change.
With the way he’s pitched lately, Graveman has emerged as a source of inspiration for teammates.
Graveman pitched into the seventh inning to become Oakland’s first 10-game winner this season, and the Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1 Wednesday to win the series.
“I thought we threw the ball well and had a good game plan going in,” Graveman said. “Just to have that feel from the mechanics side of it gives you a lot of confidence to go out there and continue to execute pitches where you want them.”
The A’s took two of three games from the AL Central leaders, who had swept a three-game set against Oakland in July. Cleveland went into the day with the best record in the American League but was held to one run for the third consecutive game while being outscored 14-3 in the series.
“Hopefully we just had like three days of amnesia,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Those things happen. Not fun when it does but it happens. They did a number on us.”
Khris Davis tripled and scored as part of Oakland’s five-run second inning against Trevor Bauer (9-6).
Roberto Perez homered while Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall had two hits apiece for Cleveland.
Graveman (10-8) extended his scoreless streak to 16 innings before Perez homered in the seventh.
Graveman allowed six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Since starting the season 1-6, he’s gone 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA in 17 starts.
Mark Rzepczynski, Ryan Dull and Ryan Madson combined to retire the final seven batters.
“To hold a team and a lineup like that to a couple runs … it’s fun to watch,” Graveman said. “Guys are starting to step up and do some good things in big situations.”
Bauer gave up nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. After striking out a career-high 13 in his last start, he fanned three.
Ryon Healy, Max Muncy and Chad Pinder drove in runs during the second for Oakland. Two more runs scored when first baseman Carlos Santana lost Danny Valencia’s high pop-up in the sun and was charged with an error.
“It’s been kind of a theme for us this year,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I can’t figure it out. There’s certain days and certain series that we can move the line offensively. We just don’t do it consistently enough.”
Perez homered with two outs in the seventh. The ball hit off the top of the wall in right field and bounced right back into Valencia’s glove. Umpires initially ruled it a hit, then changed it to a home run — Perez’s first of the season — after going to replay.
“That particular part of the fence, behind it, it’s out of play, so I’m guessing that’s what they were calling,” Melvin said. “It’s the only place in the ballpark where you have that metal piece behind it, and it ended up affecting us.”
Athletics: SS Marcus Semien was put on the paternity list. Right-handed reliever J.B. Wendelken was called up from Triple-A Nashville.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin (11-7) pitches the opener in Texas today. He was roughed up for eight runs in 3 2-3 innings the last time he faced the Rangers on May 30.
Athletics: LHP Ross Detwiler (1-2) makes his third career start against St. Louis on Friday in the opener of a three-game series with the Cardinals. Detwiler has allowed 11 runs over his past 8 2-3 innings.
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