OAKLAND — Andrew Triggs pitched the game of his brief major league career Monday night, but that doesn’t guarantee much the way the A’s offense is going.
Oakland mustered just four hits and didn’t advance a runner past second base in a 1-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians that opened a three-game series at the Coliseum.
Carlos Carrasco was excellent for the visitors, going eight innings and striking out nine without a walk. Then he turned things over to closer Andrew Miller, who had yet to join the Tribe when the A’s visited Cleveland just before the non-waiver trade deadline. The lefty went 1-2-3 for the save and the American League Central leaders extended their division lead to 7 1/2 games over Detroit.
Triggs (0-2), a 27-year-old rookie who’s spent most of his big league time working in long relief, kept the Indians off-balance all night, mixing his fastball and off-speed stuff and giving up little in the way of hard contact. He surrendered just three hits over his six innings with six strikeouts and one walk.
The A’s have averaged just 2.88 runs over their past 17 games.
Starting pitching report:
Before his last two starts, Triggs’ season was most noteworthy for his travel itinerary. He’s currently in his eighth separate stint with the A’s this season, which is believed to be an Oakland record. But since stepping in as a rotation stopgap with Sonny Gray and Jesse Hahn both on the disabled list, he’s been more than serviceable. The right-hander has established career highs for innings pitched in each of his last two outings. He went 5 2/3 innings on Aug. 16 at Texas and bested that with six scoreless innings Monday. It marked just his fourth career major league start.
The game’s only run scored when Carlos Santana smashed a one-out homer off Ryan Dull in the eighth, a deep blast that hooked inside the right field foul pole. Dull, after an historic start to his season in terms of stranding base runners, has now allowed six earned runs over his past 14 1/3 innings.
At the plate:
Miller was dominant in the ninth, striking out the side and getting Khris Davis to end it. Davis struck out in all four of his plate appeaances. Danny Valencia, the subject of so much pregame attention due to his fight with teammate Billy Butler over the weekend, pinch hit in the ninth and struck out looking.
In the field:
The Indians did well to execute the 9-4-5 putout on Crisp in the sixth. That loomed especially large after Smolinski followed with a single that could have given Oakland the lead.
Triggs got a boost from Stephen Vogt in the third, when the catcher made an on-the-money throw to second to nail Tyler Naquin trying to steal. Vogt has now thrown out four of his past eight attempted base stealers. For the season, he’s 10-for-49 (20.4 percent).
The crowd of 10,114 was the second-smallest at the Coliseum this season.
Sean Manaea (4-8, 4.73) has posted a 5.32 ERA in four August starts. He’ll look to improve on that mark Tuesday when he opposes Danny Salazar (11-4, 3.57) in a 7:05 p.m. game. Salazar has won each of his two starts against Oakland, allowing no earned runs.