CLEVELAND – Ben Broussard and Jhonny Peralta each drove in two runs and the Cleveland Indians beat Oakland 6-3 to extend the Athletics’ losing streak to seven games.

The Athletics have lost 19 of 23 and are a major-league worst 5-19 in May, their most losses in a month since going 8-19 in July 1997. Oakland dropped eight straight from May 7-15, the Athletics’ worst losing streak since 1998.

Cleveland manager Eric Wedge returned after missing one game because of a personal family emergency, but was without closer Bob Wickman. The veteran reliever said Saturday he felt much better than he did the night before when he removed himself from the game because of severe back spasms.

Wedge used four relievers, and Bob Howry worked the ninth for his first save since Aug. 28, 2001, when the right-hander was with the Chicago White Sox and before he had elbow surgery.

Scott Elarton (2-2) gave up six hits and two runs in six innings. He walked three and struck out four.

Oakland got within 4-3 in the seventh. Mark Kotsay hit a one-out double off Rafael Betancourt and scored on a two-out single by Eric Chavez against left-hander Arthur Rhodes.

The Athletics took a 2-0 lead in the first. Chavez had an RBI double and later scored on a grounder by Bobby Kielty that was misplayed for an error by third baseman Aaron Boone.

Elarton got out of the two-on, one-out jam and scattered three hits over the next five innings.

Broussard singled home a run in Cleveland’s first to make it 2-1 and had an RBI double in the third to tie it against Kirk Saarloos (1-4). One out later, Jody Gerut singled home Broussard for a 3-2 lead.

Saarloos allowed four runs and 10 hits over five-plus innings in his first start since May 16 following a stint in the bullpen. He has lost four straight since a 9-0 win at Baltimore on April 6 in his season debut.

Peralta’s bases-loaded walk off Juan Cruz with one out in the sixth made it 4-2. Left-hander Ricardo Rincon then fell behind Grady Sizemore but got him to hit into a double play on a 3-1 pitch.

It was the first time Sizemore grounded into a double play in 308 at-bats since being called up to the majors last July.

Ronnie Belliard doubled home an unearned run in the eighth and scored on Peralta’s double.

Notes: Oakland CF Mark Kotsay went 2-for-4 to put his career average at Jacobs Field at .556 (20-for-36). … Sizemore is hitting .087 (2-for-23) against lefties. … Indians C Victor Martinez had an infield hit to snap a 3-for-35 (.087) slump. … Boone was booed after each of his at-bats. He struck out twice and went 0-for-4 to drop to .157 overall. … The attendance of 33,646 was the best crowd at Jacobs Field since opening day.

AP-ES-05-28-05 2209EDT


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