August 17, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano (52) with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) during the eighth inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Cleveland Indians 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The Indians had a rare big hit with the bases loaded, but unfortunately it came for naught thanks to the team's best starter and best relievers giving up the lead.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning, when after a walk, Yoenis Cespedes lost a pop fly in the twilight sky. Jason Donald then hit a sharp single into left field, loading the bases with nobody out. That brought up Shelley Duncan, who had been in an extended slump. After the count got to 3-2, Tommy Millone made the mistake of throwing a fastball to Duncan, who hammered the ball over the left field fence for the Tribe's second grand slam of the season.
With a 4-0 lead and the Tribe's best starter on the mound, it seemed the Indians were in excellent shape, but McAllister gave all but one run of the lead up in the bottom of the inning, and what's more, most of the damage was done by the bottom of the Oakland lineup. Chris Carter started the inning with a single, and Brandon Moss (subbing for Josh Reddick, who had tooth problem) then walked. Josh Donaldson (.167/.180/.269) hit a double down the left field line, driving home Carter. A Derek Norris grounder drove home a second run, and with two outs, Cliff Pennington (.197/262/.282) hit a key single to bring in the third run of the inning. The lead was totally gone when McAllister allowed a run in the fifth. So a four-run cushion disappeared over the span of two Oakland at-bats.
The game remained tied until the eighth inning, when Oakland scored two runs off the combination of Joe Smith (who was charged with the runs) and Vinnie Pestano (who was on the mound when they scored). Smith walked Carter, then gave up a singled to Moss. Then Josh Reddick pinch-hit for Jonny Gomes when Pestano was summoned, and he singled to load the bases. And like in the fourth inning, the same two A's hitters did the damage; Donaldson hit a line-drive single that scored a run and kept the bases loaded. After Norris struck out, Pennington then hit a sacrifice fly to drive home a second run to make it 6-4. That was the final score.
So even when just about everything was set up to play for the Indians' few pitching strengths, the game still got away.