OAKLAND — Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer in the first, Eric Sogard put Oakland ahead on a seventh-inning double and the Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Friday night.
Former A's fan favorite Nick Swisher tied the game at 2 in the seventh with an RBI single, and winner Sean Doolittle (4-4) walked the bases loaded before getting out of it with only the one run. Swisher, booed at every chance, grounded out with runners on first and second to end the eighth.
Grant Balfour pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 32 chances, allowing a one-out walk to Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley's single before Asdrubal Cabrera lined into a game-ending double play as the A's held on to win for the first time in five tries this year against the Indians.
Cleveland All-Star Justin Masterson (13-9) lost consecutive decisions for just the second time this season. He allowed three runs on seven hits in 7 2-3 innings after coming off his shortest outing of the year, 4 1-3 innings in which he allowed five runs and seven hits against the Angels.
The lefty is still looking for his first victory in the Oakland Coliseum. He dropped to 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in six appearances and five starts.
A's starter A.J. Griffin escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth but his pitch count climbed in a hurry and he was done after five innings. The right-hander's winless stretch reached three starts since getting victories in four of his previous five outings.
The A's held on in their home ballpark after being swept in a four-game series in Cleveland from May 6-9, being outscored 21-8. In the third game of the series, Adam Rosales was denied a ninth-inning home run and given a double by the umpires in a 4-3 A's loss — even after going to replay. Major League Baseball the next day said the umpires made an "improper call," but executive vice president Joe Torre said the "judgment" decision is final.
Griffin and Masterson matched up in that one, too.