CLEVELAND (AP) — Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs and Josh Donaldson also had three RBIs, helping the Oakland Athletics overcome starter Scott Kazmir’s ejection in the second inning to beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Saturday night.
Dan Otero (4-0) relieved Kazmir and pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings to help seal Oakland’s eighth win in nine games
Kazmir was ejected by plate umpire Jerry Layne after the left-hander walked Jesus Aguilar on a borderline full-count pitch with one out in the second. The walk was the third Kazmir allowed and he was clearly unhappy with Layne’s strike zone. Kazmir yelled at the umpire, who quickly ejected the pitcher.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin raced on the field and had a heated argument with Layne. Kazmir walked toward home plate and continued to yell. He left the field and angrily fired his glove against the wall of Oakland’s dugout.
The left-hander, who came into the game with a 5-1 record, allowed one run and one hit in 1 1-3 innings.
Kazmir revived his career last season with the Indians, going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 29 starts. He signed a two-year, $22 million contract with Oakland in the offseason.
The Indians scored prior to Kazmir’s ejection. Asdrubal Cabrera drew a one-out walk and took third on Yan Gomes’ double. Kazmir’s wild pitch with Aguilar batting scored Cabrera and moved Gomes to third.
Otero relieved and got Mike Aviles to hit into a double play. Fernando Abad allowed a run in the sixth, but Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle closed out the win.
The Indians have lost three straight and five of seven. Cleveland committed three errors and has made a major league-high 43 errors in 43 games.
Oakland responded to the ejection with three runs in the third off Josh Tomlin (2-1). Coco Crisp doubled with one out and scored on Donaldson’s two-out single. Moss then hit a full-count pitch to right-center for his ninth homer of the season.
Donaldson, who had three hits, added a two-run triple that hit high off the wall in left in the seventh. Layne, the crew chief, initiated a review to check if it was a home run, but the original call was upheld. Moss followed with an RBI single.
The Athletics lost a similar challenge last season when an apparent game-tying home run in the ninth by Adam Rosales was ruled a double and the Indians hung on for the win.
The game was briefly delayed during Oakland’s rally when a squirrel ran across the field while John Jaso was batting. The squirrel stopped in the middle of the infield before finally jumping into the stands on the third base side and disappearing.
A squirrel also interrupted the game on April 21 at Progressive Field when the Indians defeated Kansas City.
Tomlin, who had Tommy John surgery in 2012, won his first two starts since being called up from Triple-A Columbus on May 6.
NOTES: Indians DH Jason Giambi (strained right calf) will likely be activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. The 43-year-old veteran admitted the team is struggling. “I know we’re kind of sputtering,” Giambi said. “We get that little glimmer and then it kind of falls apart. We have to keep our heads above water until we hit that good winning streak.” … 1B Daric Barton, designated for assignment Thursday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento. … Indians LHP T.J. House, recalled from Columbus before the game, made his major league debut, pitching a scoreless ninth. … Athletics 2B Eric Sogard, who is batting .091 (3 for 33) in May, was given the day off.