OAKLAND — As their roster continued to undergo drastic changes Sunday, the A’s found a way to keep things rolling on the field.
They completed their first home sweep of the Cleveland Indians in nearly five years, ringing up a 7-3 victory that gave them three consecutive victories coming out of the All-Star break.
The morning began with players arriving to the Coliseum and finding out that veteran relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson had been traded to Washington. Then the A’s went out and hung four runs on Indians starter Trevor Bauer, chasing the right-hander from the game before the first inning even ended.
Sean Manaea (8-5) made that early lead stand with seven strong innings, and the A’s got the second half started right by sweeping the American League Central leaders, who are trying to gear up for another run at the World Series after finishing runners-up to the Cubs in 2016.
The A’s hadn’t swept a home series from Cleveland since Aug. 17-19, 2012.
Manaea continues his roll: The big left-hander has won seven of his past nine decisions. He went seven innings Sunday and held Cleveland to two runs, striking out eight and walking three. Over his past 11 starts, Manaea is 7-2 with a 2.92 ERA.
Rallying early: Bauer issued three walks to dig himself a hole in the bottom of the first, and the A’s made him pay. Ryon Healy and Jaycob Brugman each delivered two-run singles with two outs, and Indians manager Terry Francona had to go to his bullpen much earlier than he anticipated.
New-look late relief delivers: With Madson and Doolittle out of the picture, the A’s are going to have to mix and match their way through the late innings to transfer a lead to closer Santiago Casilla. Manager Bob Melvin identified lefty Daniel Coulombe and Liam Hendriks as two relievers who will have to take on more prominent roles. Those two combined on a scoreless eighth after Manaea left the game. After the A’s scored twice in the eighth to open up a 7-2 lead, Melvin stayed away from Casilla and let Simon Castro finish up. Castro was making his 2017 debut after being called up from Triple-A before the game. He gave up Abraham Almonte’s homer but eventually nailed down the victory.
Double digits for Jed: Another A’s trade candidate, second baseman Jed Lowrie, hit his 10th homer in the third inning, a solo shot to right-center. It’s the first season Lowrie has cracked double digits in homers since he had 15 in 2013.
Plan for Cotton: Starter Jharel Cotton, on the disabled list with a blister on his right thumb, will throw in a rehab outing Wednesday for Triple-A Nashville. If he comes out of that well, the A’s will decide where to slot him back in the rotation. That means Chris Smith will make a second start Tuesday against Tampa Bay.