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Jimenez dominates as Indians defeat Athletics 7-1
OAKLAND, Calif. -- When Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez took a no-hitter into the fifth inning Saturday night against the Oakland A's, he flashed back to April 17, 2010.
Jimenez pitched his only career no-hitter that day at Atlanta, leading Colorado to a 4-0 win.
"It brought back a lot of good memories from that no-hitter in Atlanta, especially when I walked six guys in that no-hitter."
Jimenez pitched a perfect fifth inning then had two outs and two on in the sixth before A's third baseman Josh Donaldson broke up his no-hitter with an RBI single, ending his night.
Jimenez' no-hit dream vanished, but he got the win and sparked the Indians to a 7-1 victory, their fifth in sixth meetings with Oakland this season.
Jimenez (9-7) struck out eight, walked five, hit a better and threw 105 pitches as he improved to 3-0 for his career against the A's and beat them for the second time this season. He also snapped a two-game losing streak.
Even though his pitch count was at triple-digits, he said he would have lobbied manager Terry Francona to keep pitching if he had escaped the sixth with his no-hitter intact.
"I had in my mind if I'm able to get the last guy out without (giving) up a hit, I'm going to ask him to go back out there."
Jimenez had plenty of support from Cleveland's hitters, who stranded 13 runners in a 3-2 loss Friday night.
Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn hit solo home runs, and the Indians pounded out 11 total hits. Swisher, Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera, Drew Stubbs and Michael Brantley each had two hits. Brantley had a pair of doubles.
"We got a good team," Swisher said. "For us to go out and just play our game, sometimes games end up like this for us. More than anything, we got great pitching today. When we get good pitching it usually ends up in a W for us. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys."
Jimenez retired the first six batters he faced before walking two in the third. But he escaped that jam, getting Jed Lowrie to pop up.
"He has a lot of off-speed for a guy that throws 94 miles an hour," said Donaldson, who had two of the A's three hits. "He really doesn't want you to hit the baseball. He's going to pitch around you, try to make you swing and miss. With guys like that, you try to wait as long as possible. Hopefully he makes a mistake, but tonight for the most part he did his job."
The Indians' bullpen picked up where Jimenez left off, holding the A's scoreless on two hits over the final 3 1/3 innings. Left-hander Rich Hill struck out Chris Young for the final out of the sixth, and righty Bryan Shaw threw a scoreless seventh. Joe Smith blanked the A's in the eighth, despite giving up singles to Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes. Matt Albers pitched a perfect ninth.
The Indians pulled to within 3 1/2 games of Oakland for the second A.L. wild card spot. The A's fell 1 1/2 games behind first-place Texas in the A.L. West
"We've put ourselves in a good spot," Swisher said. "As an organization we're building ourselves back up to where we belong. You know, 15 new faces over here, completely new coaching staff. So we're going out there and doing what we can.
"Putting seven runs on a team like this, that's doing something. It just goes to show what we're capable of doing."
A's right-hander Dan Straily (6-7) extended his career-long losing streak to five games. Straily gave up three runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, while striking out seven and walking four. In six starts since the All-Star break, Straily is 0-5, but he has received no runs of support in four of those six starts.
Straily gave up two runs in the first when Swisher homered and Cabrera lined an RBI single, snapping an 0-for-20 skid. Straily also walked two in the frame.
"I felt like I had good stuff tonight," Straily said. "I just wasn't sure all the time where it was going."
NOTES: A's RHP Bartolo Colon (strained left groin), who was scheduled to start Sunday against Cleveland, will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. LHP Tommy Milone was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and will start against the Indians. ... A's CF Coco Crisp (strained left wrist) was out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight game Saturday against Cleveland, but he took batting practice and pinch hit in the eighth, popping out. He remained in the game in center field but likely won't start Sunday. ... Indians OF/INF Ryan Rayburn (sore calf) was out of the lineup for the third straight game Saturday but is expected to start Sunday.