The A's send Bartolo Colon to the mound against his original major league team Saturday night as they look for a third straight victory.
Oakland (63-55) has wavered a bit following its stunning July surge, but it remains within one-half game of postseason position behind Baltimore and Detroit.
Seven scheduled games against Cleveland (54-65) this month could help. The first of those was Friday, and the Athletics overcame a four-run deficit created by Shelley Duncan 's grand slam to win 6-4.
Josh Donaldson 's RBI single in the eighth inning capped a 4-for-4 night for the third baseman and put Oakland ahead. In his third stint in the majors this season, Donaldson is filling in for the injured Brandon Inge .
"The previous times I've been in the (major leagues) I've been so amped up I haven't allowed my abilities to really work," Donaldson said. "Ever since I've been here this time I've gone up there with a relaxed mentality."
The Indians have lost 12 of 13 on the road, which may give Colon (9-9, 3.55 ERA) a good shot at reaching double-digit wins for the first time since 2005. He was 21-8 that year with the Los Angeles Angels to win the AL Cy Young Award.
The right-hander had his first crack at the feat Sunday, coming into that game having won three straight starts without allowing an earned run. He was well on his way to another strong outing, yielding one run through the first five innings, but he gave up five runs in the sixth in a 7-3 road loss to the Chicago White Sox.
"Too many fastballs in that inning," Colon told the Athletics' official website through an interpreter. "Everyone knows I'm a fastball pitcher. Some were a bit up, and they were looking for it."
Returning to Oakland may help him get back on track. Since the beginning of June, he's posted a 1.86 ERA in eight home starts, walking just five over 53 1-3 innings in that stretch.
The A's have won 24 of 34 at home.
Colon also may be eager to face the franchise he was with for his first 5 1/2 big league seasons. In his only start against Cleveland since 2009, he yielded two hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-0 win with the Yankees on June 11, 2011.
Starting pitching has been a major problem lately for the Indians, whose rotation has a 7.92 ERA over the last 20 games, and Corey Kluber (0-1, 8.56) hasn't been able to help as he searches for his first major league victory.
Opponents are batting .355 in his three starts since he was called up Aug. 2, and the right-hander gave up six runs in 3 1-3 innings of Sunday's 14-1 loss to Boston.
"Kluber just didn't have command of his fastball," manager Manny Acta told the Indians' official website. "It was up in the zone. Everything was up. He didn't establish it and he wasn't able to use that swing-and-miss slider that he has."
Both leadoff men continued their slumps Friday, with Cleveland's Jason Kipnis going 0 for 4 and Oakland's Coco Crisp 0 for 5. Kipnis is batting .118 in his last 15 contests, while Crisp is stuck in a 2-for-21 rut.
|August 13, 2012||Josh Tomlin||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 13, 2012||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||Day-to-Day||Back soreness|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||15-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|June 30, 2012||Lonnie Chisenhall||60-Day DL||Fractured right ulna - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 29, 2012||Lonnie Chisenhall||Day-to-Day||Fractured right ulna - out 4-6 weeks|
|August 12, 2012||Brandon Inge||15-Day DL||Dislocated right shoulder|
|August 12, 2012||Brandon Inge||Day-to-Day||Dislocated right shoulder|
|August 07, 2012||Eric Sogard||15-Day DL||Strained back|
|August 05, 2012||A.J. Griffin||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|August 04, 2012||A.J. Griffin||Day-to-Day||Sore right shoulder|
|August 03, 2012||Seth Smith||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bartolo Colon only used his changeup twice, in the first inning and on the last pitch he threw. The way his fastball was dancing around the strike zone, the Oakland Athletics ' right-hander really didn't need his offspeed stuff.
It's been that way most of his career and the 39-year-old Colon sees no reason to change now that he's enjoying a renaissance with the A's.
Colon pitched eight strong innings for his third consecutive win at home, Yoenis Cespedes homered and drove in three runs and Oakland beat the Cleveland Indians 8-5 on Saturday night.
"What you see is what you get out of him," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He makes you make the adjustment. He's got great movement on his fastball, he's on the corners on both sides. We've seen quite a bit of that this year."
Colon (10-9) struck out three and scattered five hits while beating his former club for the sixth time in 10 starts. The burly right-hander didn't give up a hit until the fourth and allowed only two runners past first base.
In doing so, Colon became the third-oldest pitcher in Oakland history to reach double digits in wins after turning 35. Don Sutton (1985) and Tom Candiotti (1998) are the others.
"I didn't know that. I had no idea about it," Colon said. "I'm happy about it. At the same time I want the team to continue to play like we are."
It's the ninth time this season Colon has not walked a batter and the 18th time in 24 starts with Oakland that he's walked one or fewer.
The 10 wins are also the most for Colon since he had a career-best 21 with the Angels in 2005.
"(He) did a real good job," said Cleveland right fielder Shin-soo Choo, who singled off Colon in the fourth. "You know he's going to throw that two-seamer and you still can't hit it."
Cespedes homered and drove in three runs, Josh Donaldson had two hits and an RBI while Coco Crisp added two-run triple for Oakland, which won its third straight after entering the night one-half game behind Baltimore for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
On a night when the A's celebrated the 10th anniversary of their 20-game winning streak, Cespedes managed to steal a bit of the spotlight. He hit a two-run home run against Indians starter Corey Kluber (0-2) in the third and added an RBI single off reliever Cody Allen in the seventh.
It was the second home run in three games for the A's slugger after he went 54 at-bats without an extra base hit. Cespedes finished 2 for 4 and is batting an AL-best .377 (46 for 122) since the All-Star break.
"He gets frustrated, he gets mad but he never presses," Melvin said of Cespedes. "Shoot, when we signed him if we knew he'd have the numbers he has right now, boy we would have taken it in a heartbeat."
That was all the support Colon needed to win for the fourth time in five starts. He gave up Carlos Santana 's 13th home run with two out in the seventh but was otherwise stellar.
Grant Balfour recorded one out for his 11th save after Oakland's bullpen nearly let it get away in the ninth.
Evan Scribner replaced Colon and gave up Choo's two-run home run. Brent Lillibridge later hit a pinch-hit two-run shot off Jerry Blevins to cut the A's lead to 8-5.
Jason Donald followed with a pinch-hit single before Balfour replaced Blevins and struck out Ezequiel Carrera to end it.
Cleveland committed two errors while losing for the fourth time in five games on its road trip. The Indians have dropped the first two games in this series after losing the final two games in Anaheim.
"When you walk guys and make errors it's going to be costly," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "Defense has been our strength all year so I'm not going to complain about that. It's only thing we've done well all year."
Colon didn't allow a hit until giving up a one-out double to Cabrera in the fourth. Choo followed with a single to move Cabrera to third, but Colon got out of it by getting Santana to ground into a double play.
The A's scored their first run off Kluber without getting a hit.
Cliff Pennington reached on a throwing error by Indians shortstop Cabrera, was sacrificed to second, stole third and scored on Donaldson's groundout.
Josh Reddick followed with a double to left center to drive in Crisp to make it 2-0.
After a visit to the mound by pitching coach Ruben Niebla, Cespedes lined a 1-1 pitch from Kluber onto the top of the scoreboard above the fence in left field.
Oakland added a run in the sixth on George Kottaras ' RBI single then scored another in the seventh when Cespedes singled in Jemile Weeks .
Crisp's two-run triple in the eighth off Chris Seddon made it 8-1.
Kluber struck out two and walked three in five innings. He remains winless in four career starts.
"He has good stuff and you have to be patient," Acta said. "We're not going to make any knee-jerk reactions. We brought him up to look at him and that's what we're doing."
NOTES: Indians leadoff hitter Jason Kipnis is 6 for 55 since July 27. ... The A's honored their 2002 team in a pregame ceremony celebrating the franchise's AL-record 20-game winning streak that season. Several ex-players attended, as did former manager Art Howe . The winning streak was the subject of the Brad Pitt movie "Moneyball." ... Oakland manager Bob Melvin is encouraged about the progress made by pitcher Brett Anderson after he threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Saturday and believes Anderson will the team before the season ends. "We'll find a way to get him in there at some point," Melvin said. "He's that good." ... 3B Brandon Inge is hitting off a tee and is flexing his right shoulder with little to no discomfort. He's eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Aug. 27. ... RHP Jarrod Parker (7-7), who pitches the series finale for Oakland, is still looking for his first win in August. ... RHP Justin Masterson (9-10) is seeking his third consecutive win for the Indians.