thinks defense first. When the catcher makes a rare appearance as Oakland's cleanup hitter, though, he slides into the role
of run producer.
Suzuki hit a three-run homer to help the Athletics beat the
5-2 on Thursday night.
''When you're not trying to do too much it seems the ball goes farther,'' Suzuki said. ''We're having fun and it's showing
on the field.''
Suzuki batted fourth for the fifth time this season, and improved his slugging percentage in the spot to .667. He's hitting
.286 there with a pair of home runs and eight RBIs.
''He doesn't strike out much and puts the ball in play,'' A's manager
said. ''That's how you pick up runs when you have a man at third.''
Suzuki has driven in 21 runs over his last 17 games despite hitting .219 over that span. He leads the A's with 78 RBIs and
is trying to become the first catcher to lead the team in the category since 1944.
''I just want to be productive,'' he said. ''Last year I hit .279 and had half as many RBIs (42). I want to put the ball in
play and make the defense work.''
doubled twice and drove in a run for the A's, who have won four straight and nine of 11.
(2-2) pitched five innings to win his second consecutive start.
''He did his job; he kept the ball down and we got him some runs early,'' Geren said. ''I'm happy to get what I got out of
him. His first inning was about as good as you can pitch.''
tripled home a run and
added an RBI groundout for the Indians, who have lost five straight and nine of 10.
had a career-high three hits.
''We're going through a tough stretch right now,'' Indians manager
said. ''We have a lot of young (hitters) and we're chasing a lot of bad pitches. It's something we have to battle through.
We probably made four or five mental errors and they add up.''
Mortensen gave up two runs and four hits, struck out four and walked three.
pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances, and has converted his last 20 opportunities.
(4-8) lost his fourth straight decision, allowing five runs and six hits over four innings.
The A's scored four times in the third to build a 5-0 lead.
led off with a walk and scored on Kennedy's second double. After
walked and Suzuki followed with his 13th homer.
''I just kind of hung that sinker to Suzuki that he hit out,'' Masterson said. ''It's 0-2 and you want one that goes down
to the dirt, not one that just hangs out in the middle of the plate and says 'Hit me over the fence.' So he did what he's
Kennedy went 2 for 5 and is batting .383 in September, with 10 multihit games. Kennedy leads the A's with 41 multihit games
despite joining the team on May 8.
NOTES: In the eighth, Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch for the 15th time this season and Cleveland's major league-high 78th
plunking. ... X-rays on Indians SS
's sore right knee were negative and he's likely to return to the lineup on Saturday. ... A's RHP
will not pitch the rest of the season due to right shoulder tendinitis. ... A's LHP
will start Sunday's series finale.