Montas shines as A’s win 6th straight

Oakland A's beat Cleveland Indians 7-2 to reach .500; Khris Davis delays trip to injured list

  • Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha (20) is congratulated by Matt Olson after Canha hit a two-run home run off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer in the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Cleveland. Olson scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics hits a solo homer during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Catcher Nick Hundley #3 celebrates with closing pitcher Joakim Soria #48 of the Oakland Athletics after the Athletics defeated the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Athletics defeated the Indians 7-2. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Second base umpire Nic Lentz watches as Matt Olson #28 of the Oakland Athletics slides into second for a double as shortstop Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians catches the throw from right field during the eighth inning at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha watches his ball after hitting against Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Jefry Rodriguez in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. Canha grounded into a fielders choice. Marcus Semien scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Starting pitcher Frankie Montas #47 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after Nick Hundley #3 hit an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Nick Hundley watches his ball after hitting a one-run double off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Tyler Clippard in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. Ramon Laureano scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Cleveland Indians’ Jake Bauers watches his ball after hitting a two-run home run off Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Fernando Rodney in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. Carlos Santana scored on the play. Oakland won 7-2. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Jefry Rodriguez delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Jurickson Profar #23 celebrates with Nick Hundley #3 of the Oakland Athletics after Hundley hit a solo homer during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Relief pitcher Fernando Rodney #56 of the Oakland Athletics leaves the game after giving up a two run home run during the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Catcher Kevin Plawecki #27 of the Cleveland Indians catches the throw as Matt Olson #28 of the Oakland Athletics scores on a single by Robbie Grossman #8 during the third inning at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics hits an RBI single during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor, right, is late on the tag as Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson slides safely into second base for a double in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. Oakland won 7-2. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Joakim Soria, right, is congratulated by catcher Nick Hundley after the Athletics defeated the Cleveland Indians 7-2 in a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Starting pitcher Jefry Rodriguez #68 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman, left, catches a ball hit by Cleveland Indians’ Jason Kipnis in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. Ramon Laureano, right, backs him up. Kipnis was out on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Nick Hundley hits an one-run double off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Tyler Clippard in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. Ramon Laureano scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Starting pitcher Jefry Rodriguez #68 of the Cleveland Indians pitches to Marcus Semien #10 of the Oakland Athletics during the first inning against at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson flips his bat after striking out in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • CLEVELAND, OHIO – MAY 22: Starting pitcher Frankie Montas #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Jurickson Profar throws out Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor at first base in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman watches his ball after hitting against Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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CLEVELAND >> The 2019 A’s are beginning to look like the 2018 A’s, Part 2.

“Obviously, you’re not going to win every game, but this is the type of baseball that we expect to play,” catcher Nick Hundley said after going 3 for 4 with a home run and double in the A’s sixth straight win, 7-2 over the Indians on Wednesday.

“This is what we envisioned at the start of the season. It wasn’t what we were doing at the start of the season, but that doesn’t matter now. This is the team that we envisioned being, and we need to consistently bring that every series.”

The A’s are now 25-25. Whether they can make a run at first-place Houston is debatable, but they finished second to the Astros in the American League West last season to get to the wild-card game, a loss to the Yankees.

The six straight wins included three at both Detroit and Cleveland. The A’s are off Thursday, then begin a nine-game homestand on Friday night, when Seattle visits.

“We’ve been great,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We know that we’re good enough to go on a roll, whether it’s home or road.”

Hold off on Davis to injured list

Slugger Khris Davis sat out the game as he had an MRI done on his left hip. Melvin said the team had not been informed of what the tests might show.

“We haven’t got anything on Khris yet,” he said after the game. “I know they had the MRI. We don’t have any results.”

Davis was injured on May 5 and has played in just seven games since. Davis and Melvin both said after Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Cleveland that Davis was headed for the injured list. He started that game but was removed after one at bat, when he made contact on each of his two swings, but couldn’t let loose.

Melvin said before Wednesday’s game that the team was in a wait-and-see mode as to whether Davis would go on the IL.

“The thinking is, just on the off chance that a day off (for Davis), and a day off (Thursday) — we’ll get the MRI results at some point between now and then,” Melvin said. “So, probably a good chance that he does go on the disabled list, a great chance, but we’ll just hold off, just in case. So, we’ll play short and see where we are on Friday.”

The MRI could also reveal any problem Davis might have with his oblique muscle. He said after Tuesday’s game that he was experiencing as much discomfort in the oblique area as with the hip.

Montas’ excellent outing

Right-handed starter Frankie Montas (6-2, 2.40) pitched six scoreless innings for the win, striking out nine while allowing five hits and two walks.

He left Indians runners stranded on second and third in each of the first two innings, getting swing-and-miss strikeouts on a 96 mile-per-hour fastball to Jake Bauers for the second out in the first, and fanning Francisco Lindor on a slider to close the second.

“It was good,” Montas said of his slider. “I threw it effectively back-door (to left-handed batters). I didn’t have my fastball the first couple innings. I couldn’t really command it like I like to.”Cleveland touched Montas for just one hit in his last four innings. He left with a 7-0 lead, having thrown 101 pitches, 64 for strikes.

“That’s huge,” Melvin said of Montas’ ability to get strikeouts with runners in scoring position. “When you have 98 (miles per hour), you can do that. And, you have a (split-finger fastball) that’s swing-and-miss, and you have a slider that you can back-door to lefties.”

From behind the plate, Hundley was impressed by Montas’ ability to use a variety of pitches.

“He did a really good job of keeping that lineup off balance,” Hundley said. “It’s a tough lineup for a (right-hander) to face, with all the lefties, and how well they use the middle of the field as a team.

“I thought he did a really good job of leaving guys out there, of making really quality pitches when he needed to, because they had battled and they had traffic out there.”

Hundley’s day

Hundley began the game hitting .200, but it was in just 55 at-bats. His three hits upped his average to .237. The 12-year veteran, 35, wasn’t using spotty playing time as an excuse for any previous struggles.

“I was just really bad in the first couple weeks, the first month of the season, April,” he said. “I just wasn’t a very good baseball player. I was doing a lot of things wrong. You know, it’s time to do things right.”

Hundley, in his first year with the A’s, has a load of experience in dealing with inconsistent playing time. The most at-bats he has had in a season is 373, and only twice has he had more than 289. Yet, he has hit between eight and 13 homers in eight campaigns.

“He’s swinging the bat really well now,” Melvin said. “We knew it would come some time, but it’s more difficult to do when you’re not getting consistent at-bats.

“But he’s a guy who has done it before without the consistent at bats. He’s staying inside, and hitting the ball the other way and hitting with some power the other way.”

The righty-swinging Hundley hit his homer to right field.

Canha picks up slack

Mark Canha’s homer gives him five blasts in his past 27 at bats. He was at designated hitter in Davis’ place.

“He’s got some power,” Melvin said. “You know, a lot of our bench guys could potentially be everyday players, in my opinion. It’s good to see him get some consistent at bats, and you’re seeing the production. We’ve seen it over the years with him.”

Piscotty now 49 of 50

Right fielder Stephen Piscotty didn’t play for the first time this season. Before the game, Melvin said that looking to Thursday’s off day, a rest Wednesday for Piscotty would give him a two-day break. Chad Pinder got the start in right, batting seventh, and he went 1 for 5.

 

 

 

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