OAKLAND, Calif. – Jemile Weeks thinks keeping company with a bunch of old guys who have won a few world championships will rub off on the Oakland Athletics. He just hopes it happens sooner rather than later.
Weeks has hit safely in each of the two days the A's have honored their 1972 World Series championship team, though Oakland has lost both games, including a 5-1 setback to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.
He spent most of his time talking with Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers and Cy Young Award winner Vida Blue, and he's sure being on their company will only help.
"It's good to be around a bunch of winners," Weeks said. "Those guys have a few World Series championships. It was nice to rub shoulders with them and shake hands. I hope it rubs off."
After winning three straight in Anaheim, the A's have retracted a bit.
"Coming off the games in Anaheim you would expect us to be a little more on offensively but we got bogged down here the last couple of games," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The root of it is guys trying to do too much with runners in scoring position. They put pressure on themselves."
A's starter Brandon McCarthy (0-3) thinks the offense will turn around sooner than later.
"The offense will be there," he said. "I'm making sure to get my 3 outs and hold the other guys to as few runs as possible. I haven't pitched well enough to win anyway."
Jason Kipnis drove in three runs and scored twice, Jeanmar Gomez pitched into the sixth inning for his first win of the season and the Indians extended their best road trip in more than 20 years with the win.
Cleveland is assured it will win its first three series on the road for the first time since 1988. Cleveland also improved to 7-1 on its current nine-game swing.
Cliff Pennington doubled and scored the only run for the A's. It's the sixth time in 16 games Oakland has been held to one run or fewer.
"Nothing is guaranteed just because we won a few games," Weeks said. "Sometimes you have to reach down deep as a team and get together. You can't get bogged down in numbers."
Gomez got Josh Reddick on a long fly out to center that moved Pennington to third, then reliever Dan Wheeler allowed a sacrifice fly to Yoenis Cespedes that trimmed Cleveland's lead to 2-1.
Chris Perez, the last of five Cleveland relievers, pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven tries.
Cleveland needed pitching to bail out its offense. The Indians stranded 10 runners in the first seven innings before scoring three times in the eighth.
"McCarthy was really good," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He made good pitches whenever he had to. We had a couple of chances but give him credit, he made good pitches."
McCarthy had trouble locating his sinker most of the night and pitched with runners on base in seven innings. The A's lanky right-hander struck out four, walked three and threw a season-high 113 pitches.
NOTES: The A's optioned RHP Graham Godfrey to Triple-A Sacramento, one day after he dropped his third consecutive start. LHP Pedro Figueroa was recalled from Sacramento to replace Godfrey. The 26-year-old allowed only two hits and had eight strikeouts in seven scoreless innings over five games with the River Cats. ... Oakland RHP Brett Anderson threw 20 pitches to hitters on Saturday in another step forward after undergoing Tommy John surgery last July. ... Before the game the A's celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1972 World Series championship team. Fingers threw out the ceremonial first pitch.