CLEVELAND — The Oakland Athletics couldn’t contain a power surge by the Indians on Saturday.
Starter Dillon Overton allowed three of Cleveland’s four home runs on the night, as Oakland fell to Cleveland, 6-3.
Overton, who was recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game, allowed five runs and 10 hits in just 3.1 innings, while giving up solo homers to Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez and Abraham Almonte. The start was just his fourth of the season for the Athletics.
The 24-year-old allowed only three homers over 103.2 innings in Triple-A, but has given up six homers in 15 innings with Oakland.
Manager Bob Melvin believes the difference involves major league hitters taking advantage of Overton’s lack of location.
“He’s getting a lot of the middle of the plate,” Melvin said. “They were getting good swings on him.”
Liam Hendriks allowed Cleveland’s fourth home run of the game — a two-run shot to Mike Napoli later in the fourth.
Billy Butler clubbed a solo homer off Indians starter Josh Tomlin in the fourth, following some chatter with Cleveland catcher Chris Gimenez.
The two exchanged words following a pitch with two outs, before plate umpire Tripp Gibson separated them.
On the next pitch, Butler belted a drive that traveled an estimated 440 feet.
The designated hitter followed with a bat flip, which began a shouting match between the two players. Gibson stood beside Gimenez as Butler rounded the bases and then issued warnings to both dugouts.
“It’s just tempers flaring,” Butler said. “It was just a professional disagreement. It all worked itself out.”
Butler was loudly booed in his next two at-bats and explained that the incident with Gimenez began over a disagreement involving the strike zone.
“I thought the he might’ve just been asking for a little too much,” Butler said. “I had an issue with him. He took a little bit of an issue with me, we got it out of the way.”
Oakland’s only other run off Tomlin came in the first, when Danny Valencia smacked a two-out RBI single to give the Athletics a 1-0 lead.
Marcus Semien added a solo homer — his 22nd of the season — with two outs in the ninth off closer Cody Allen.
Reliever Zach Neal, who entered the game with a 6.00 ERA, pitched three scoreless innings to finish the game for Oakland, allowing just one hit.