Bullpen blows late lead, Tribe loses

A couple of three-run innings by the A’s led to their 7-6 victory over the Indians Tuesday night. With the Tribe holding a slim 2-1 lead, Jake Westbrook served up a three-run homer to Frank Thomas. The Tribe then scored in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to build a 6-4 lead but it didn’t last long as Eric Chavez’s two-run shot off Scott Sauerbeck in the eighth tied the game. An Aaron Boone fielding error in the same inning set up Oakland’s seventh and go-ahead run. The Indians were able to find some success off Oakland stud Barry Zito, tagging him for six runs and 10 hits in seven innings. Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner each homered and Ronnie Belliard had two RBI but Cleveland’s bullpen struggles were really the story of the game.

Some interesting stats on Sauerbeck this season: He has a horrendous 6.23 ERA but opponents are only hitting .196 off him. Besides the nine walks, five of the nine hits he’s given up this season have been doubles or home runs. Too many times he puts himself into jams via the walk so the hits he does give up are extremely costly.

Struggling Jhonny Peralta was dropped from the third spot in the lineup for the first time this season. Hitting in the six hole Tuesday, Peralta struck out three more times, bringing his K total to 64 and dropping his average to a dreadful .232.

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