Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 9/18)

Game 1: Monday, September 18
Cleveland7Final
Oakland2
Game 2: Tuesday, September 19
Cleveland3Final
Oakland7
Game 3: Wednesday, September 20
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Oakland4
Game 4: Thursday, September 21
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Oakland7

Indians 7

(70-79, 32-43 away)

Athletics 2

(86-63, 45-30 home)

10:05 PM ET, September 18, 2006

O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California 

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CLE 202120000 7 13 1
OAK 000020000 2 9 0

W: J. Westbrook (13-10)

L: D. Haren (14-12)

Indians get to Haren, snap A's four-game win streak

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Dan Haren has two more regular-season starts, both against the rival Los Angeles Angels, and he knows he will have to pitch a lot better than he did in his latest outing.

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."

Casey Blake doubled in two runs as the Indians gave Jake Westbrook an early lead, a nice boost for his club after losing three of four to the Minnesota Twins.

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 pitches.

"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 days."

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.

Jason Kendall reached on second baseman Luna's fielding error in the fifth that allowed Marco Scutaro to score the A's first run. Mark Kotsay followed with a sacrifice fly.

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.

Game notes


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."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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