OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Edwin Jackson is making the most of his opportunity with yet another new team.
The 34-year-old journeyman earned his first win with Oakland, pitching neatly into the seventh inning as the Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 Saturday for their season-high sixth straight victory.
Jackson (1-0) signed a minor league contract with the A’s on June 6 and is now with his record-tying 13th major league team. He gave up only two hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked none in his second start for Oakland.
“Honestly, when I can look in the mirror and say that I can’t do it any more, I’ll go home,” Jackson said.
“I’m not playing for the money. I’m not playing for anything else but to come have fun,” he said.
Jackson was in the minors for Washington earlier this season, then joined the A’s. With their rotation beset by injuries, the Athletics gave Jackson a chance.
Matt Olson, Dustin Fowler and Josh Phegley homered to help the A’s win for the 12th time in 14 games. They’ve won seven straight against Cleveland and nine of their last 10 against the Indians in Oakland.
Jackson has won 10 consecutive decisions over Cleveland, a streak dating to 2008. His string against the Indians is the longest since Charlie Hough beat them 13 straight times from 1984-88.
Jackson has 13 strikeouts and hasn’t allowed a walk in 12 2/3 innings through his first two starts with Oakland. He topped out at 97 mph on Saturday.
“Based on the way he was available and the way he’s been able to pitch for us it’s a surprise, but he’s always been able to do that a little bit with the sinker and the four-seamer,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
“Now he just manipulates a little bit more and the offspeed stuff with the changeup speed and the slider. . It really keeps you off-balance,” he said.
The AL Central-leading Indians lost for the fourth time in five games.
The A’s trailed 2-0 going into the sixth, when Franklin Barreto became their first baserunner with a leadoff double against Adam Plutko (4-2). Phegley followed with his second home run and Oakland took a 3-2 lead when Fowler scored from first on Mark Canha’s double.
“I was extremely happy with the first four (innings) and how could you not be?” Plutko said. “Even in the fifth I liked what I was doing, but in the sixth they came out with four straight hits, flexed their muscle and that was the game.”
Francisco Lindor hit his 20th homer and Jose Ramirez hit his 24th in the Cleveland fourth.
Oakland broke the game open in the eighth, when they homered twice in a four-run inning. Fowler hit his fifth home run leading off the inning against Dan Otero, and Olson hit a two-run shot off Josh Tomlin, his 18th.
Rookie Lou Trivino induced Yonder Alonso to hit into a game-ending for his third save. Trivino came into the game after the Indians loaded the bases with one out in the ninth off Santiago Casilla on a hit, a walk and a hit batter.
The A’s finally got their offense going at home, where going into Saturday were batting .233 and averaging 3.61 runs per game at the Coliseum. Oakland is hitting .263 and averaging 5.55 runs on the road.
Indians: LHP Tyler Olson (latissimus dorsi strain) threw his first bullpen on Friday and is expected to throw off a mound again on Sunday. … LHP Ryan Merritt (left knee sprain) threw 48 pitches on Friday in a rehab game with Triple-A Columbus. . RHP Carlos Carrasco (right elbow contusion) was expected to throw 65 pitches in a rehab game with Double-A Akron on Saturday.
Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman (right thumb contusion) will take BP on Sunday and could be activated for Tuesday’s series opener against San Diego without going on a rehab assignment. “Even if we don’t feel like potentially he’s up to speed offensively, he can save some runs out there defensively,” Melvin said.
RHP Mike Clevinger (6-3, 3.03 ERA) is 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA in two outings (one start) against Oakland. He’s 2-1 with a 2.07 ERA over his last four starts. RHP Frankie Montas (4-1, 3.68) is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA over his last three starts.
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