Athletics riding high as Indians try to avoid sweep

The Oakland Athletics are creating lasting memories during their six-game homestand, with a no-hitter and three walk-off wins highlighting their 4-1 run.

The Athletics look to provide yet another positive memory on Sunday when they bid for a three-game sweep of the visiting Cleveland Indians.

Matt Chapman homered to lead off the 12th inning in Oakland's 4-3 win on Friday, and Ramon Laureano's bloop single to right field scored Matt Olson in the ninth of a 3-2 victory on Saturday.

"I wouldn't say we're playing our best baseball right now, but to be able to stick out these close games and come out with wins this week has been big," Olson said. "To be able to win those tight games when you're not playing your best is what good teams do."

The Athletics mustered just four hits -- with two coming in the first eight innings -- en route to posting their ninth win in their last 10 home games against the Indians.

Offense hasn't been a friend of Cleveland throughout the season, as the light-hitting Indians have been held to three runs or fewer in 21 of their 38 games.

That little margin for error makes miscues in the field even more costly.

Oakland's first two runs on Saturday were unearned, as third baseman Jose Ramirez committed a throwing error in the first inning, while left fielder Jake Bauers misplayed Nick Hundley's fly ball in the fifth, resulting in the Oakland catcher racing around the bases.

"Those are little things that turn into big things when you're not knocking the ball all over the ballpark," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "We've talked about it as a team and we will continue to."

Cleveland's Leonys Martin has shown signs of working his way out of his slump, improving to 5-for-12 in his last three games after he belted his team-leading sixth homer on Saturday and drove in the game-tying run in the ninth inning.

"I am just trying to slow down things and get to home plate and try to have quality at-bats," Martin said.

Oakland is expected to reach out to Triple-A Las Vegas and recall right-hander Daniel Mengden to make his season debut in a spot start for Mike Fiers, who picks up an extra day of rest after tossing 131 pitches during Tuesday's no-hitter.

Mengden owns a 3-2 mark with a 2.77 ERA in seven starts in the minors this season. He posted a 7-6 record with a 4.05 ERA in 22 appearances with Oakland in 2018.

The 26-year-old has faced the Indians on just one occasion, surrendering five runs on seven hits -- including three homers -- in 3 1/3 innings in a 5-3 loss at Cleveland on May 29, 2017. Carlos Santana belted a solo homer in that contest.

Cleveland right-hander Jefry Rodriguez (0-2, 2.41 ERA) has pitched well in all three of his starts, allowing just five runs and striking out 12 in 18 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-6 Rodriguez permitted two runs in six frames on Tuesday but was saddled with the defeat in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Rodriguez will make his 18th career appearance (12th start) on Sunday and first against Cleveland. The 25-year-old has not faced anyone on Oakland's roster.

--Field Level Media
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