5/18/2014 6:45 P.M. ET
Doolittle inches closer to team record
By Stephen Ellsesser / Special to MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Sean Doolittle continues to make his notch in A's history larger.
Doolittle threw an inning of scoreless relief on Saturday, stretching his streak of consecutive innings pitched without issuing a walk to 33.
Doolittle's run is second all-time among Oakland pitchers, behind the 50 1/3 walk-free innings thrown by legendary closer Dennis Eckersley between Aug. 17, 1989, and June 12, 1990.
Doolittle has not walked a batter since last Aug. 31. The hard-throwing lefty is pitching with swagger, but he leaves it in his locker every night.
"I've got a lot of confidence, right now," Doolittle said. "I've learned in my time in the big leagues as a reliever, stuff can change in a heartbeat."
Doolittle lives and dies by his fastball. Lately, with his ability to move the fastball, he has been living it up.
"I feel like with the way I have been able to command my fastball -- especially recently -- I can get ahead and expand from there, get some swings outside the zone," Doolittle said. "That's been the biggest thing, go 0-1, then take it one pitch at a time from there."
Doolittle was converted from a first baseman to a pitcher late in the 2011 season, and knowing how hitters think has shaped his aggressive pitching style.
"Kind of having that experience as a hitter, I know it makes such a difference when you step into a [batter's] box and then you're behind 0-1 or the count's 0-2," Doolittle said.
Doolittle has struck out 15 batters in his last 9 1/3 innings. His success is all about execution, not late-inning mystique.
"They know what I'm going to do, as far as attacking with the fastball and moving it around the zone," Doolittle said. "They know what I'm going to do. I don't think it would be particularly intimidating."
A's claim pitcher Francis off waivers from Reds
CLEVELAND -- The Athletics claimed pitcher Jeff Francis off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Francis, who was designated for assignment on Friday, was the 26th man on the Reds' roster for Thursday's doubleheader against the Padres.
Francis gave up three runs over five innings of work in his start, taking the loss.
Playing for Triple-A Louisville this season, Francis struck out 45 and walked 12 in 48 2/3 innings over eight starts.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin likes the options that Francis presents.
"We'll bring him in here," Melvin said. "Mostly length at this point, [but Francis is] a guy that's stretched out to start and helps us out two different ways -- [as] potential starting depth and the true long man we need back into the bullpen, too."
Oakland moved Jake Elmore to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Francis. Francis will join the team on Monday in St. Petersburg in advance of Tuesday's series opener against the Rays.
Francis was added to the 25-man roster when pitcher Joe Savery was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
A's send Savery to Triple-A Sacramento
CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Joe Savery left the team after Sunday's game to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
Oakland initially planned to put Savery on the paternity list, but instead, he was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento, to make room for Jeff Francis on the active roster.
Savery threw the final two scoreless innings in Sunday's 13-3 win, giving up two hits and walking one.
"He's going to fly back and [the doctors will] induce [labor] tomorrow," manager Bob Melvin said. "We'll cross our fingers for him. This is his first child. We're all excited for him."
A's juggle lineup for series finale with Tribe
CLEVELAND -- The A's shook up their lineup for the series finale in Cleveland to maximize the number of left-handed hitters facing Justin Masterson.
Entering Sunday, lefties are hitting .310 against the Indians' ace this season, and .285 overall. That meant not seeing both of Oakland's catchers in the starting lineup for the first time since Monday.
That left Derek Norris on the bench to start the game, with John Jaso behind the plate.
"John's swinging a hot bat, as of late, and I was riding out a hot bat a couple weeks ago and then piecing together a couple of hits here and there," said Norris.
For the A's, matchups dictate everything, so Norris didn't enter Sunday thinking of it as a day off.
"With the system that we have, there is no such thing as a day off," Norris said. "Just because you don't start a game here, doesn't mean you're not going to play. More times than not, you're going to be an impact player whether you start or not."
With six games on turf looming for Yoenis Cespedes and the A's, Melvin penciled in the Cuban slugger at designated hitter and moved Brandon Moss to cover the hole in left field.
Facing Masterson, the switch-hitting Alberto Callaspo made more sense at first base than new acquisition Kyle Blanks, who will face left-handers.
"With Masterson, we're going to try to get as many lefties in there as we can," Melvin said.
The moves paid off, as Oakland chased Masterson after 4 1/3 innings of a 13-3 win.
• Eric Sogard broke out of his offensive slump on Sunday with his first hit since May 9, but he left the 13-3 win over Cleveland early, after fouling a ball off his knee in the seventh inning.
Melvin said Sogard would be evaluated before Tuesday's series opener against Tampa Bay, but getting Sogard out of the game was precautionary.
"He fouled that ball off his knee, so I got him out of there," Melvin said. "[It's a] contusion, so we'll see how it is."
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.