|Hot-hitting A's, Indians hook up in Cleveland|
The Cleveland Indians' bats certainly heated up over the last week. The Oakland Athletics' did, too -- until Mother Nature intervened.
The Indians and Athletics aim to continue their recent good fortune at the other's expense on Monday when the clubs open a three-game series in Cleveland.
While Shane Bieber's masterful 15-strikeout, complete-game gem highlighted the Indians' 10-0 romp over Baltimore on Sunday afternoon, Francisco Lindor quietly recorded his fifth multi-hit performance in his last eight contests to pace the offensive attack.
"You look up and it kinda lulls you to sleep when he's hitting .300 and he really hasn't really heated up. He's starting to, but that's just how good he is," Cleveland manager Terry Francona told reporters of the 25-year-old Lindor, who is batting .375 (12-for-32) in his last eight games.
Carlos Santana homered for the second time in as many days and enters Monday's series opener by going 6-for-13 with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs in his last four games.
"I feel much better with the last 10 days, and I have to keep it up," Santana said.
Jason Kipnis is riding a 14-game on-base streak heading into the series opener with the Athletics.
Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson (4-3, 4.41 ERA), who will get the nod on Monday, fell to 1-3 in his last five outings on Tuesday after allowing four runs on six hits -- including three homers -- in a 4-3 setback at Seattle.
Anderson, however, owns a 3-0 mark with an 0.82 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in five career encounters with Cleveland. The contingent of Lindor, Santana and Kipnis are a combined 0-for-7 against the 31-year-old Anderson.
The Athletics, who have won three in a row, scored twice in the seventh to take a 5-3 lead at Detroit on Sunday before the game was suspended in the bottom of the inning due to rain. That contest will resume Sept. 6 before the Tigers play a series in Oakland.
"I thought we were going to trying to play a half an inning there and when they pulled it, it wasn't raining, barely at all. What was it, another 10 minutes or so?" Oakland manager Bob Melvin lamented after the game.
Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers, however, is pleased with the team's recent ascent.
"To win three games so far is definitely huge for us coming off what we've been doing, being inconsistent. We're starting to hit our stride," Fiers said.
Stephen Piscotty had an RBI single in the third inning and a two-run double in the seventh before weather took over.
Marcus Semien also had an RBI triple in the third inning for the Athletics, who own a 12-20 mark against right-handed starters this season.
Semien is just 1-for-11 with four strikeouts against Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco (4-3, 4.18), who will bid to extend his streak of 12 consecutive scoreless innings on Monday. Carrasco scattered two hits in five frames of a 5-0 home win over the White Sox on May 9 before allowing six hits in seven innings five days later in a 9-0 romp in Chicago.
The 32-year-old Carrasco sports a 4-1 mark with a 2.89 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in six career starts versus Oakland and has flustered Khris Davis (1-for-12, nine strikeouts).
--Field Level Media