CLEVELAND – Oakland's Billy Butler lit the fuse, but it was the Cleveland Indians who exploded. Following a heated argument between Butler and Indians catcher Chris Gimenez at home plate in the top of the fourth inning, the Indians exploded for four runs in the bottom of the inning breaking a 2-2 tie and rolling to an eventual 6-3 victory Saturday night at Progressive Field. "I was definitely not happy when he turned and screamed in my face," said Gimenez. "It was a professional disagreement," said Butler with a smile. "Tempers were flaring. We're both competitive. I had an issue with him and he had an issue with me." Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Abraham Almonte and Mike Napoli all homered in support of Josh Tomlin (11-3), who in seven innings gave up two runs and six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. The fourth inning was the game's pivotal point. With Cleveland leading 2-1, two outs and nobody on base, Butler came to the plate. During his at-bat he and Gimenez suddenly got into an argument and had to be separated by home plate umpire Tripp Gibson. Gimenez said he made a sound of disgust at a pitch called a ball by Gibson, and that got upset Butler. "Billy didn't want to hear it," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "My job is to get as many strikes for my pitcher as I can. I don't care what the hitter thinks," Gimenez said. The two players were separated, and Butler ended the at-bat with a booming home run into the left-field bleachers. Butler flipped his bat after hitting the ball, and that set off Gimenez again. "I took offense to the whole situation. I thought there was a little showmanship going on," Gimenez said. "But give him credit, he hit it out." After Butler's home run tied the game at 2, the Indians responded with a four-run, two home run bottom of the fourth to take control of the game. Most of the damage came off A's rookie Dillon Overton (1-2), who was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to make the start. Overton gave up five runs on 10 hits, including three home runs, in 3 1/3 innings. It was Overton's fourth major league start, and the home run ball has haunted him in each of them. In 18 1/3 innings Overton has given up nine home runs. Almonte homered on Overton's first pitch of the fourth inning to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead. Rajai Davis singled and scored on a double by Jason Kipnis. Liam Hendriks relieved Overton, and retired Francisco Lindor on a groundout. But Mike Napoli belted his 23rd home run, over the wall in center field, a two-run shot that extended the Cleveland lead to 6-2. "It would have been nice to put one on the board, but we put four," said Gimenez. Kipnis homered in the first inning and Ramirez hit one in the second inning off the beleaguered Overton. Melvin said Overton's penchant for giving up home runs is easily explained. "It's mostly location," Melvin said. "He's trying to pitch in, but with his velocity, when he misses he needs to miss in. He's missing in the middle of the plate." Tomlin gave up two runs on four hits in the first four innings, but in his last three innings held the A's scoreless on two hits. "Once we started swinging the bats Josh settled down and did what he's supposed to do, and what he's done all year," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona. Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen pitched the last two innings for the Indians, who have won the first two games of this series. The A's scored a run in the top of the first on an RBI single by Danny Valencia. Butler's home in the fourth tied it, and Marcus Simien's solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning accounted for Oakland's third run. NOTES: The A's traded OF Billy Burns to Kansas City for OF Brett Eibner, who was with Kansas City's Triple-A club at Omaha and has been assigned to the A's Triple-A club at Nashville. ... As expected, Oakland placed LHP Rich Hill on the disabled list with a blister on his left middle finger. The move is retroactive to July 20. LHP Dillon Overton was recalled from Nashville to take Hill's spot on the roster and start Saturday's game. ... Indians RHP Corey Kluber, who will start Sunday, has never beaten Oakland. In five career appearances, four of them starts, against the A's, Kluber is 0-4 with a 4.03 ERA. ... Before Saturday's game, Jim Thome, Frank Robinson, Albert Belle and Charlie Jamieson were inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame.
Indians ride 4 homers, Tomlin to victory
The Sports Xchange | Jul 30