CLEVELAND -- Vin Mazzaro pitched like an All-Star in order to beat one.
The Oakland Athletics' young right-hander worked into the eighth inning and upstaged Cleveland All-Star Fausto Carmona on Sunday in a 3-1 victory over the Indians."He was pretty unhittable for a period there," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "Today was a lot better than any of his starts."Mazarro (4-2) won his second straight outing, allowing just the one run on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He tied the longest start of his career set in June 2009 against Baltimore."I felt strong," Mazzaro said. "I could've went more, but the bullpen came in and did the job."Andrew Bailey worked the ninth for his 17th save. He yielded a one-out single to Jhonny Peralta, then got Matt LaPorta to hit into a game-ending double play on the next pitch.Mazzaro avoided giving up a home run for the third consecutive start, covering 20 1/3 innings. He had allowed seven homers in his first 29 1/3 innings this season."I've been working on keeping the ball down," he said. "It's definitely an encouraging sign. I'm throwing in the zone and cutting down on my walks. Guys are making plays behind me. Good stuff is happening out there."Adam Rosales hit his sixth homer to give Oakland a 3-1 lead in the seventh off Carmona (7-7). It was the first home run allowed by Cleveland in 62 innings overall and the first given up at home in 83 innings since June 15."Fausto had another quality start," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He deserves credit for turning things around after the past couple of seasons."Carmona went 19-8 in 2007, then struggled to a combined 13-19 record the next two seasons. A year ago, he was back in the minors, seeking to smooth out his delivery."I feel so much better this year," he said. "I'm comfortable, but I still have work to do."Oakland outfielder Coco Crisp left with tightness in his upper left hamstring in the second inning after giving the Athletics a 1-0 lead in the first.Crisp walked, then took second base on a passed ball by Carlos Santana. He went to third on a groundout and scored on another groundout by Ryan Sweeney.Geren doesn't think the injury will send Crisp back to the disabled list. Crisp has played in only 12 games and been on the DL twice this season, with a broken finger on his left hand in April and a pulled muscle in his right side in May and June. He was activated June 22 and is hitless in 12 at-bats with six strikeouts.Cleveland lost for only the second time in eight games and was without outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. The Indians' top slugger, batting .286 with 13 homers and 43 RBIs, went on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right thumb that may require surgery."When we left Arizona in spring training, we didn't anticipate what is going now," Acta said. "The offense is missing its three best players."Choo may need surgery that could sideline him for at least two months. Outfielder Grady Sizemore is out for the season after knee surgery and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera may come back in late July after missing two months with a broken left forearm.Oakland lowered its team ERA in day games to a major-league best 2.85, improving to 19-10. The Athletics' 22-32 night record is second-worst in the AL, ahead of only Baltimore.Cleveland tied it 1-1 in the third with three straight two-out singles, capped by Austin Kearns driving home Santana from second base.Mark Ellis singled home Jack Cust, who had doubled, to put Oakland ahead 2-1 in the fourth.Carmona allowed three runs and seven hits over seven innings."I pitched good, but not good enough," he said. "I want to win, need to win."Mazzaro walked one and struck out seven as he faced the Indians on July 4 for the second season in a row. A year ago, Cleveland handed him his first major-league loss, 5-2. The right-hander had started his career with 13 2/3 scoreless innings over two wins.
Oakland has won nine of its last 11 meetings with the Indians. ... Oakland 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, in an 0 for 29 slump, wasn't in the lineup. The skid is the longest of his career. ... Landon Powell started at catcher in place of Kurt Suzuki for the A's. ... Oakland OF Conor Jackson (hamstring) missed his fourth straight game. ... Indians rookie Santana lost track of the count and ran off the field with a 2-2 count on Cust in the sixth. He thought it was an inning-ending strikeout. ... Cleveland recalled OF Michael Brantley from Triple-A Columbus to take Choo's roster spot. He went 0 for 4 as the leadoff hitter.