Oakland, CA – Josh Donaldson's go-ahead RBI single in a two- run bottom of the eighth inning helped the Oakland Athletics rally past the Cleveland Indians, 6-4, in the opener of a three-game set.
Chris Carter walked to begin the frame and Brandon Moss' single chased Joe Smith (7-3) from the game. Vinny Pestano came on and gave up a single to pinch-hitter Josh Reddick to load the bases. Donaldson then ripped a 1-2 hanging breaking pitch into left field, which brought in the go-ahead run.
"We needed that win, that would have been a good win. When you turn the ball over to us down there in the bullpen, we've been pretty good all year," said Smith. "Sometimes you blow it. I blew it (Friday). We're just going to come out and we're going to keep battling."
After Derek Norris struck out, Cliff Pennington lifted a sacrifice fly to right, which plated Moss for a 6-4 A's lead.
Grant Balfour worked a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 10th save of the season, while Jordan Norberto (4-1) picked up the win by throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Donaldson went 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for Oakland, which rallied from a 4-0 deficit in its second straight win since losing four of its previous five.
"Since he's gotten here, he's swung the bat really well and playing with a lot of confidence," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Donaldson.
Shelley Duncan hit a fourth-inning grand slam for Cleveland, which has dropped three straight and five of its last seven.
After Duncan's slam, the A's countered by pushing across three runs in the home half and added another in the fifth to tie the score.
Carter singled and Moss coaxed a walk to start the fourth. Following Jonny Gomes' strikeout, Carter scored on Donaldson's double and Norris' groundout plated Moss. Donaldson came home on Pennington's single to right.
Yoenis Cespedes smacked a one-out double to left in the fifth and stole third before crossing the plate on Carter's sacrifice fly to left, knotting the contest at 4-4.
A's starter Tommy Milone surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and a walk in five innings, while Cleveland starter Zach McAllister allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings ... The A's were 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, while the Indians finished 2-for-6.