Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer, Hector Luna added a solo
shot and the Cleveland Indians denied Haren of his career-high 15th
win with a 7-2 victory over Oakland on Monday night to snap the AL
West-leading Athletics' four-game winning streak.
"Maybe it was a little letdown by me," Haren said. "That's
pretty much unacceptable."
The A's, coming off a three-game weekend sweep of the defending
World Series champion Chicago White Sox, saw their division lead
drop to 6½ games over the idle Angels.
Haren (14-12), who is still 8-3 in 11 starts since July 26,
lasted only 4 2-3 innings for his shortest outing since Sept. 7,
2005, against Seattle in which he went 2 2-3 innings. He gave up
seven runs and nine hits, struck out two and walked four on 106
"I don't think we had a letdown," Oakland outfielder Jay
Payton said. "We just didn't play as well as we had the last few
The Indians challenged Haren from the start, working the count
to quickly elevate his pitch total. Haren had already thrown 67
pitches through three innings and the right-hander looked little
like the pitcher who worked eight scoreless innings in a 1-0 win at
Minnesota last Wednesday.
Westbrook (13-10), a sinkerballer who had a no-decision against
the A's on June 6, ended a two-start losing streak that followed
three straight victories -- and he held Frank Thomas in check, too.
Westbrook struck out five, walked one and allowed only one earned
run on nine hits in 7 2/3 innings.
"I was able to throw strikes and get ahead of the hitters," he
said. "I did a better job of keeping them off balance."
Thomas went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk after homering in
his previous two games.
Haren fell behind in a hurry on Martinez's 16th homer of the
year. Grady Sizemore struck out to start the game, then Jason
Michaels walked before Martinez connected. Martinez also doubled
and drew two intentional walks.
Blake hit a two-out, bases-loaded double in the third and
singled and scored a run in the fifth.
"Blake really stepped up for us with the two-out hit," manager
Eric Wedge said. "If we had the bases loaded and didn't get
anything out of it, that would have been bad. With the team we have
now, we're going to have to find ways to generate and create
opportunities for ourselves."
Luna led off the fourth with his second homer and by the fifth,
everybody but cleanup hitter Ryan Garko had reached base for
Cleveland. Luna reached on a fielder's choice to score a run in the
fifth and that chased Haren, who gave way to Ron Flores.
"For the most part when you miss and strikes are in the middle
of the strike zone, everybody's going to hit you," A's manager Ken
Macha said of Haren's struggles. "We just have to turn the page
and get a better starting pitching performance tomorrow."
Andy Marte singled to advance Luna to third, and he scored on a
wild pitch that made it 7-0.
Sizemore went 2-for-3 and is batting .440 (11-for-25) for his
career at the Coliseum -- his best average in any AL ballpark.
Haren had not walked more than two batters in 14 starts
since his four walks June 29 at San Diego. ... Oakland RHP Rich
Harden is officially the probable starter for Thursday in the
series finale against the Indians, which will be his first
appearance since June 4. He went on the DL for a second time this
season the following day with a strained ligament in his right
elbow. Macha said Harden would be on a pitch limit of about 60.
"He feels really good," Macha said. "He's ready to go."