OAKLAND, Calif. – 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 Cleveland Indians extended their best road trip in more than 20 years with a 5-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.
Jason Donald had two hits and also scored twice while Travis Hafner and Jack Hannahan added two hits apiece for the surging Indians. 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.
Kipnis went into the game batting just .167 but had a part in all the Indians' scoring Saturday. He singled and scored on Travis Hafner's groundout in the first, drove in Jason Donald with a two-out hit in the sixth, tripled in a pair of runs in the eighth then scored again on a wild pitch.
Gomez (1-0) teamed with the bullpen to silence the A's offense on a night Cleveland's own offense struggled to hit with runners in scoring position.
The Indians right-hander scattered four hits with three strikeouts over 5 1-3 innings for the win despite a sluggish start. Gomez gave up three hits and a walk in the first two innings before retiring 11 consecutive batters until Pennington's leadoff double in the sixth.
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.
Cleveland's first two runs came off Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy, who labored throughout the game and remained winless.
McCarthy (0-3) 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.
Hafner went into the game having reached base in seven consecutive plate appearances. After his RBI gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead, the Indians DH singled twice and walked once.
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. ... Cleveland manager Manny Acta said that Johnny Damon, signed to one-year minor league contract earlier in the week, needs to build up his stamina in the outfield before the team will call him up to the big league club. ... Before the game the A's celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1972 World Series championship team. Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... RHP Justin Masterson (0-1) tries to end his two-start slump for the Indians in Sunday's series finale. RHP Tyson Ross (0-0) is scheduled to pitch for the A's on his 25th birthday.