Oakland, CA – Eric Sogard drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, and the Oakland Athletics held on to top of the Cleveland Indians, 3-2, in the opener of a three-game series at Oakland Coliseum.
Yoenis Cespedes belted a two-run homer and Oakland's bullpen was used heavily after A.J. Griffin labored in his five-inning start. Despite the short stint, Griffin gave up just one unearned run as he scattered four hits and five walks.
"That many pitches in five innings and you're feeling good about yourself. But when you get to the bullpen, this is one of the few teams who can run some pretty good guys out there," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Sean Doolittle (4-4) gave up the tying run in the seventh but was credited with the win, Oakland's second in a row, while Grant Balfour survived a shaky ninth to close it out.
Justin Masterson (13-9) tossed 7 2/3 innings in a losing effort, and Nick Swisher went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI for the Indians, who had won three of four coming in.
Masterson, who was charged with three runs on seven hits, retired 11 straight at one point and watched as his offense tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom half, however, Masterson's streak ended when he issued a two-out walk to Stephen Vogt, who raced around all the way from first on Sogard's line drive down the right-field line. Sogard was thrown out at third on the play, but not before Vogt scored ahead of Jason Kipnis' throw.
"He's been terrific for us ... It seems like he puts together consistent at- bats," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Swisher grounded out to strand a pair in the eighth, and Asdrubal Cabrera sharply lined into a double play in the ninth to seal Balfour's 31st save.
Cleveland went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 13 on base
Cespedes cleared the wall in left-center in the first inning to give the A's a 2-0 lead with his 20th home run of the season.
Josh Reddick singled ahead of the two-out blast, but his errant throw to third two innings later sailed to the top of the Oakland dugout and allowed Swisher to score Cleveland's first run.
Swisher singled in Drew Stubbs in the seventh inning, but Doolittle left the bases loaded by retiring Cabrera on a flyout to left field.
Griffin has issued 11 walks in his last two outings but did not give up a home run for the second consecutive start. He allowed 10 over his previous four ... Cespedes has homered five times in his last 16 games following a career-high 25-game homerless streak ... Masterson fell to 2-6 in his career against the A's ... Cleveland fell to 24-15 in one-run games, while Oakland is 22-16 in games decided by a run ... The Indians swept the A's at home in four games from May 6-9.