CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber did not look like a pitcher who had not pitched in a month, and the Oakland A's looked like a team at the end of a long road trip.
Kluber came off the disabled list to pitch six scoreless innings and the Cleveland Indians benefited from three Oakland errors that led to five unearned runs in an 8-0 victory Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field.
"It gives everyone a lift just to have him back out there," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Kluber, "and then when he pitches like that. His breaking ball was so good. He was crisp right from the get-go."
Kluber (4-2), making his first start since May 2 due to a lower back strain, gave up two hits and struck out 10. Indians pitchers fanned 59 in the four-game series.
"You saw our two biggest problems today. Strikeouts and errors," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin, whose team went 2-5 on its trip to New York and Cleveland.
A's starter Jharel Cotton (3-6), pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, but only one earned. He allowed four hits, struck out four and walked four.
Oakland's three errors -- the A's fifth three-error game the season -- brought its season total to 56, which is 14 more than any other team in the majors.
"I think sometimes we try too hard," Melvin said. "It starts to get contagious. Guys get tight, and you get games like today."
The A's also struck out 17 times. Their season total of 497 is the second most in the American League.
"I didn't have enough left-handed bats in the lineup against Kluber, so some of those strikeouts are on me," Melvin said. "But Kluber was really good. He had good command of his breaking ball and made us look bad."
Kluber said his back issue earlier in the season limited his ability to throw his breaking ball.
"I wasn't able to get full extension on my cutter," he said. "So to have my full arsenal available today, it makes it easier to pitch."
"To be able to go out there and pitch well without running into any issues, it's a relief," Kluber said.
With Cleveland leading 1-0, the Indians scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth. That inning included two hits, two walks, two errors, a passed ball, a double challenge -- one by each manager, on the same play -- and play being halted for about 30 seconds in the middle of the frame when the outfield sprinklers turned on.
Michael Brantley drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. With the bases still loaded, Carlos Santana hit a seemingly harmless fly ball to shallow left field to score a run, pushing Cleveland's lead to 3-0.
Another run scored when, with the bases loaded and no outs, Bradley Zimmer hitter a grounder to second baseman Chad Pinder, who threw home for a force out. Catcher Josh Phegley threw to first attempting to complete the double play, but Zimmer was ruled safe.
Santana, who was the runner from second base, attempted to score. First baseman Yonder Alonso threw home, and Phegley appeared to tag Santana, who was ruled out.
Melvin challenged the call on Zimmer at first and Francona challenged the out call on Santana at the plate.
After a video review, the safe call on Zimmer was upheld, and the out call on Santana was reversed, giving the Indians a 4-0 lead. Third baseman Ryon Healy's error, his second of the inning, on a grounder hit by Daniel Robertson, allowed another run to score.
That was just about the time the sprinklers came on.
"Something like that is more funny when you're winning than when you're losing," Francona said.
The Indians added three runs in the seventh inning off reliever John Axford.
NOTES: Prior to the game the Indians activated RHP Corey Kluber from the disabled list and optioned RHP Shawn Armstrong to Triple-A Columbus. ... Indians DH Edwin Encarnacion, who has a 10-game hitting streak, started 51 of the Indians' first 52 games, but was given a day off Thursday. ... Indians RHP Josh Tomlin, Friday's starter in Kansas City, is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA vs. the Royals this year and 10-4, 3.94 in his career. ... A's 2B Chad Pinder, who had three hits, including two home runs and three RBIs while hitting ninth in Wednesday's game, was moved up to sixth in the order Thursday. ... A's RHP Jesse Hahn pitched 5 1/3 innings, throwing 75 pitches on a rehab assignment for Class A Stockton on Wednesday. Hahn (strained right triceps) has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 24. He could be activated sometime next week.