CLEVELAND -- Even when their starting pitcher leaves early, the Oakland Athletics are hard to beat.
After left-hander Scott Kazmir was ejected from the game in the second inning, the A's rallied behind their bullpen for a 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night at Progressive Field.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson had three hits and three RBI and first baseman Brandon Moss had two hits, including a home run and three RBI to lead the A's offensively.
The win went to right-hander Dan Otero (4-0). He pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Kazmir, who was ejected from the game after facing just eight batters.
Trailing 3-1, the Indians got a run back in the sixth against left-hander Fernando Abad. Left fielder Michael Brantley lined Abad's first pitch to right field for a single and third baseman Carlos Santana lined Abad's second pitch to left for a single, putting runners at first and third with no outs.
But the Indians only scored one run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera that cut the Oakland lead to 3-2.
Right-hander Josh Tomlin (2-1) started for Cleveland, and outside of a three-run third, he was effective, holding Oakland scoreless on two hits in the other five innings he pitched. But Tomlin still was tagged with the loss.
Oakland scored three runs against the Cleveland bullpen in the seventh after rookie first baseman Jesus Aguilar dropped the ball on a throw from second baseman Mike Aviles on what should have been an inning-ending double play. The A's took advantage of the error to score three runs.
"He just dropped it, and it turned out to be a huge play in the game," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona, whose team made three errors to hike its season total to 43, which is easily the most in the American League.
"It's making it harder for us to win, and what's perplexing is that it's something different every night," Francona said.
After the error, left-hander Marc Rzepczynski walked designated hitter John Jaso, and then Donaldson stroked a two-run triple off right-hander Brian Shaw. Moss followed Donaldson's triple with an RBI double to give the A's a 6-2 lead.
"Errors happen. I'm more upset with myself for walking the guy after the error," Rzepczynski said. "If I throw strikes and get him, none of that other stuff happens."
Kazmir was a 10-game winner for Cleveland last year, but his first start in Cleveland since leaving as a free agent did not last very long.
Kazmir was ejected with one out in the second inning after he said something to home plate umpire Jerry Layne after Layne ruled ball four on a 3-2 pitch to Aguilar.
"He was gesturing and arguing balls and strikes. That's an automatic ejection," Layne said of Kazmir.
"I said, 'That ball was right there' and the next thing I know, I'm out of the game," Kazmir said. "I just think that it's something that happens. A bad day for both of us."
Kazmir, who came into the game with a record of 5-1 and a 2.28 ERA, pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up one run and one hit, with one strikeout and three walks.
"It's very frustrating," he said. "I was really looking forward to this start and this is probably the best I've felt going out there. I felt I was hitting a lot of spots and it just didn't work out."
Before his ejection, Kazmir walked three of the eight batters he faced. With one out in the second, he walked Cabrera, who went to third on a double by catcher Yan Gomes and scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch by Kazmir.
The A's took a 3-1 lead against Tomlin in the third. Center fielder Coco Crisp doubled with one out and scored on a two-out single by Donaldson. Moss followed Donaldson's hit with a booming two-run homer into the right-field seats.
NOTES: The Indians optioned RHP CC Lee to Triple-A Columbus and recalled LHP TJ House from Columbus. ... Indians OF Michael Brantley singled in the sixth inning, extending his home hitting streak to 14 games, the longest home hitting streak in the American League this season. ... A's 1B Daric Barton has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Sacramento. Barton was designated for assignment on May 15.