Cleveland's season-long difficulties dealing with baserunners continued Saturday night, when Oakland stole two bases and was caught once. The Indians entered the game having allowed 101 stolen bases, with a 20 percent throw-out rate, second-worst in the AL. Most of that can be placed on the Tribe's pitching staff, Acta said, from veteran Ubaldo Jimenez to their younger starters. "We have two of the best throwing catchers in the league," Acta said, "but the past two years, we are not doing a very good job of holding runners. "It's about offsetting [the runner's] timing by sometimes holding the ball longer or by changing the look," he added. "There are different things you can do. It's not just speeding up." Cody Allen allowed two hits but no earned runs in two-thirds of an inning Saturday night, running his streak of consecutive shutout innings to 13 since being called up from Triple-A Columbus on July 20. That's the longest such streak to begin a career exclusively in relief with the Indians dating back to 1974, according to available research from STATS LLC. A's: Anderson close to returning
Left-hander Brett Anderson tossed a 40-pitch bullpen session Saturday and feels ready to return to the A's rotation. Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Anderson will be back soon, adding "we will find a way to get him in there somehow." Anderson, coming back from Tommy John surgery, has made five Minor League rehab starts with Triple-A Sacramento. He hasn't pitched for the A's since June 5, 2011. "I'm very eager to get back and pitch for this team," Anderson said. Oakland should also see the return of third baseman Brandon Inge fairly soon. He said he is "way ahead of schedule" in his recovery from a sprained right shoulder and expects to come off the disabled list when he's eligible on Aug. 27. "I don't put anything past him," Melvin said. "He is a guy with a high threshold of pain tolerance." Seth Smith, on the other hand, was eligible to come off the DL on Saturday but is still recovering from a strained left hamstring. He took batting practice and ran the bases for the second day in a row, and Melvin said the outfielder was getting closer to a rehab assignment. Worth noting
Cleveland has held a lead at some point in eight of its last 17 losses. The A's snapped a streak of seven straight games with nine or more strikeouts Saturday night, whiffing only four times to break the longest such streak in franchise history.