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When Paul Blackburn needed 47 pitches to make it through the
first two innings Joe Thuney
Jersey
, it didn’t seem he would last long for the Oakland
Athletics.

Then Blackburn found his groove and led the streaking A’s to another win.

Blackburn pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning and Oakland won its
fifth straight game, beating the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Friday night.

”It was just finding a tempo and rhythm,” Blackburn said. ”It’s something
I’ve struggled with the first couple of innings. Once I get over that hump in
the second inning, I feel like everything is more put together.”

Marcus Semien and Khris Davis drove in runs against Trevor Bauer (7-6) as the
A’s followed up a four-game sweep at Detroit with a win in the opener of a
five-game homestand.

Jed Lowrie provided insurance with a solo homer in the eighth off Zach
McAllister to move Oakland a season-high seven games over .500.

”Games like that, it feels like a 10-run homer,” manager Bob Melvin said.
”The guys coming to the plate get your attention in the last inning. It was
paramount. It gives you a little bit of wiggle room.”

Blake Treinen allowed two baserunners in the ninth before earning his 21st
save in 23 chances. He has converted 18 straight save opportunities.

Blackburn (2-2) had a 12.70 ERA his past three starts and struggled early
against Cleveland Matt Schaub
Jersey
, with four of the first seven batters reaching base safely.
But a caught stealing and a double play helped him make it through the first two
innings unscathed and he settled down from there.

He retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, allowing only a two-out walk
to Yonder Alonso in the fourth before leaving after retiring Edwin Encarnacion
to open the seventh. Blackburn allowed three hits and struck out five.

Francisco Lindor hit an RBI double off Yusmeiro Petit in the eighth inning
for Cleveland.

The A’s, who score nearly two fewer runs per game at home than on the road,
managed to get single runs against Bauer in the second and sixth innings. Matt
Olson doubled in the second and scored on Semien’s two-out hit.

Oakland added an insurance run in the sixth when Matt Joyce singled and
scored on Davis’ double.

”He seemed to be very patient so I wanted to make a point of getting ahead in
that count,” Bauer said. ”He hit a bad pitch. He’s a good hitter. That’s what
you’re supposed to do with hanging breaking balls, hit them.”

Bauer allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings Marlon
Humphrey Jersey
, striking out eight. His 148 strikeouts are the
most for a Cleveland pitcher before the end of June since Sam McDowell had 151
in 1970.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Manager Terry Francona said the team will have a decision soon on
the status of injured starter Danny Salazar, who has been on the DL all season
with a right shoulder injury. Francona said the team is ”exploring some things”
and said he would have more information in the next couple of days.

Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman (hand) took grounders and hit off a tee. He will
take BP on Sunday and could be back as early as next week. … RHP Andrew Triggs
(right arm nerve irritation) had his rehab shut down because he felt tingling in
fingers. He will get a second opinion next week. … RHP Trevor Cahill (right
Achilles) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session and will either have a lengthier
bullpen session or simulation game next in his rehab.

UP NEXT

Edwin Jackson (0-0) makes his second start for Oakland after allowing one run
in six innings of a no-decision in his debut against Detroit. His nine-game
winning streak against Cleveland is the longest since Storm Davis also won nine
straight vs. the Indians from 1986-92. Adam Plutko (4-1) starts for
Cleveland.


Less than two weeks after settling a four-year-old lawsuit arising from
allegations of fraudulent memorabilia, the Giants fired three members of their
equipment staff. Two of them were surprised.

Via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com, equipment director Joe Skiba and assistant
equipment director Ed Skiba did not expect to be fired.

“Joe and Ed did not see this coming,” attorney Gerald Krovatin told
Dunleavy.聽“They are two stand-up guys, and they stood tall throughout the four
difficult years of this lawsuit. They remain very grateful for the 20-plus years
they were able to work with the players Leonte
Carroo Jersey
, coaches and everyone else in the Giants
organization.”

Though not said expressly by Krovatin, the Skibas also may be surprised
because they cooperated with the lawsuit, saying what needed to be said to push
back against the allegations. But it’s hardly uncommon for a company to rally
around the employees whose conduct gave rise to a lawsuit, ensuring their
cooperation with the reality of ongoing employment and the vague promise that
the relationship will continue until the case goes away. And then the employees
whose behavior fell at the heart of the lawsuit go away, too.

Absent a settlement agreement of their own that gives the Skibas severance
pay in exchange for silence, the Giants may have to worry about what Joe and Ed
Skiba may say.

Consider this exchange of text messages from May 2016 between the
Skibas Keenan Allen
Jersey
, as reported last year by the Washington Post.

鈥淚 hate it here,鈥?Joe Skiba said to Ed Skiba. 鈥淕uys who
mow the lawn make more.鈥?/p>

鈥淸Our] raises are because they are paying our legal
fees,鈥?Ed Skiba replied.

Joe Skiba suggested that he was considering requesting
overtime, 鈥淐ause my insights on the case cost money now.鈥?/p>

Ed Skiba said at one point that it’s “[n]ot even worth
it.鈥?/p>

鈥淔or me it is,鈥?Joe Skiba replied. 鈥淚鈥檒l tell the whole
f–king world the truth.鈥?/p>

Maybe now Joe Skiba will. Or at least his version of it.

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