Valencia returns as A's bash Indians

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[August 24, 2016]  OAKLAND, Calif. -- Danny Valencia got back to hitting baseballs instead of teammates Tuesday night.

And when it comes to his on-the-field prowess, he surely can't be labeled a one-hit wonder.

Valencia returned to the starting lineup and collected two hits, and Khris Davis belted his 33rd home run, propelling the Oakland Athletics to a 9-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Left-hander Sean Manaea limited the American League Central leaders to one run and three hits over seven innings, helping the A's beat the Indians for the first time in five meetings this season.

"Good team win," said Valencia, who didn't play Sunday and didn't start Monday in the wake of his clubhouse fight with teammate Billy Butler. "We've been focused on a lot of negatives lately, and we don't have a lot of wins. But actually we've had a lot of positive things, especially with the younger guys."

Even more so than the losses, the biggest negative of late was the punch Valencia landed to the head of Butler, causing a concussion. The team's designated hitter hasn't played since the Friday scuffle, and both guys were fined.

Valencia struck out as a pinch hitter in Monday's 1-0 loss to the Indians, but he wasted little time getting back into the swing of things as a starter, lashing the second pitch he saw from Indians right-hander Danny Salazar (11-5) for a first-inning single.

Davis followed with a three-run homer, his first of two hits, to give the A's a lead they never relinquished.

"When you're playing big-league games, you have to play hard," Valencia said. "You can't focus on those (negative) things. You've got to move past that. Play the game hard and good things happen."

Valencia doubled in a two-run third inning, giving him two hits in each of his past seven starts, a stretch during which he has raised his average from .288 to .302.

He scored two runs and Davis three as Oakland topped four runs for just the second time in 10 games. The A's had totaled just four runs during the three-game losing streak they took into the game.

"The offense did a real good job," said Manaea, who benefitted from the early onslaught. "It all came together today."

Manaea (5-8) won for just the second time since June 29, striking out eight and walking two.

The eight strikeouts were one shy of his season best and gave him 100 for the season, just the second AL rookie to reach that mark.

The Indians' only run off Manaea came on a solo home run by catcher Chris Gimenez, his fourth of the season, in the sixth inning.

"He had enough fastball and a really good change-up off of that. He was really effective," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Manaea. "Sometimes during the game you don't want to give credit. But when it's over, the kid did a good job."

Ryon Healy had three hits, including a pair of doubles, to extend his hitting streak to 10 games for the A's, who were facing a first-place team for the 17th time in their past 27 games. They are 6-11 in those contests.

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell helped blow the game open with a two-run double in the eighth, producing the first two career RBIs. Oakland scored three times in the inning.

Davis, who had a double to go with his homer, and Coco Crisp had two hits apiece for the A's, who out-hit Cleveland 13-4.

Brandon Guyer had a double for the Indians, who had outscored Oakland 20-6 in the teams' first four meetings.

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Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy (48) high fives right fielder Danny Valencia (26) after the game against the Cleveland Indians at the Coliseum the Oakland Athletics defeated the Cleveland Indians 9 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians ended a streak of having played five consecutive one-run games.

Making his second start since a stint on the disabled list with a sore elbow, Salazar was pulled one batter into the fifth inning. He was charged with six runs on eight hits in his four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Salazar had lasted just one inning in his previous start, last Thursday against the Chicago White Sox. He allowed three runs in that game.

"They got pretty good swings at his fastball," Francona said. "The hope is that he gets some repetition and gets back to the Danny we saw in the first half. It would certainly be helpful.

Davis' homer in the first, a blast to right-center field, followed one-out singles by Jake Smolinski and Valencia. He had struck out in six consecutive plate appearances dating back to Sunday.

"That's his approach," A's manager Bob Melvin said of the opposite-field homer. "I've often said that it's a unique quality. You don't see guys with that type of power and approach to right-center field."

The homer was Davis' 14th since the All-Star break, the second-most in the majors to Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier's 15.

Valencia's double led off a two-run third that increased the Oakland lead to 5-0. He scored on Yonder Alonso's sacrifice fly.

A's shortstop Chad Pinder recorded his first career RBI later in the inning with a single that scored Davis.

Davis' leadoff double in the fifth ended Salazar's night. The A's bumped up their lead to 6-0 two batters later when Healy doubled off Indians reliever Zach McAllister.
 

NOTES: The Athletics' win was just their 15th in 47 games decided by four or more runs. ... The A's took their team photo before the game. INF/OF Danny Valencia and DH Billy Butler attended the shoot and were placed on opposite ends of the frame. ... The A's have scheduled LHP Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) for one more rehab appearance Thursday at Triple-A Nashville. He could be reinstated from the disabled list this week. ... A's RHP Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder surgery) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session before the game and said he hopes to see game action before the end of the season.

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