Series: Game 1 of 4

Oakland leads 1-0 (as of 9/16)

Game 1: Monday, September 16
Anaheim 3Final
Oakland 4
Game 2: Tuesday, September 17
Anaheim 1Final
in 10
Oakland 0
Game 3: Wednesday, September 18
Anaheim 4Final
Oakland 7
Game 4: Thursday, September 19
Anaheim 3Final
Oakland 5

Angels 3

(94-56, 42-30 away)

Athletics 4

(94-56, 49-26 home)

    10:05 PM ET, September 16, 2002 Coliseum, Oakland, California 

    123456789 R H E
    ANA 300000000 3 - -
    OAK 010010101 4 - -

    W: B. Koch (10-3)

    L: A. Levine (4-4)

    Tejada's single completes A's big comeback

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The American League West race seems destined to be decided in close games. That's just fine with the Oakland Athletics, who finally worked their late-inning magic against the Anaheim Angels.

    Troy Glaus

    Miguel Tejada singled home the winning run in the ninth inning as the A's snapped Anaheim's six-game winning streak and tied the Angels for first place in the division Monday night with a 4-3 victory.

    Ray Durham and Jermaine Dye homered for the A's, who opened a key four-game series by handing Anaheim just its second defeat in 18 games. Both teams are 94-56 with 12 games to go in baseball's most competitive division race.

    The Angels hadn't lost since a 2-1 defeat at home to the A's last Monday. Anaheim followed that defeat with three consecutive victories over Oakland in which the Angels' bullpen was outstanding, particularly in a pair of one-run triumphs.

    A few days later and a few hundred miles to the north, the A's took the first step in returning the favor with their major league-leading 30th one-run victory -- and yet another hero turn for Tejada, their All-Star shortstop.

    ''It's a plus for us in the first game of the series to break through their armor and let them know their bullpen isn't untouchable,'' said Durham, who reached base four times.

    Troy Glaus hit a three-run shot in the first inning to match a major league record with a home run in four consecutive at-bats, but that was all the offense Anaheim could muster.

    Cory Lidle pitched seven strong innings, and Billy Koch (10-3) worked the ninth for the victory.

    Glaus, who hit a career-high three homers Sunday against Texas, repeated a feat that had been accomplished 31 times before with a long homer to right. He struck out in the fourth to end the streak.

    Durham singled with one out in the ninth against Al Levine (4-4). After pinch-hitter David Justice beat out a hard grounder that was bobbled by Adam Kennedy for an infield hit, Tejada -- who left six runners on base in his three previous at-bats -- singled up the middle.

    ''Sometimes you have to stop being too anxious,'' said Tejada, who struck out with two runners on in the third and with the bases loaded in the fifth.

    ''You have to make him throw strikes. Olmedo (Saenz) said, 'Calm down. We're going to win this game.' He knows me, and he knows I like to swing hard, so he helped me relax.''

    Durham slid home with the winning run, and the A's celebrated on the infield in the same way they often did during their AL-record 20-game winning streak.

    A day after the A's dropped out of first place in the AL West for the first time since early in their streak, Oakland jumped right back to the top with its favorite formula: timely homers and outstanding pitching.

    ''There were some lightning bolts,'' Levine said. ''I cost us the game. It's frustrating, but it's just one game. We have a good bullpen, and we'll continue to pitch well.''

    Both teams have plenty of motivation to win the West. The champion almost certainly gets home-field advantage in a first-round meeting with Minnesota, while the wild-card winner probably opens the playoffs at Yankee Stadium -- a particularly unpleasant prospect for the A's, who have lost to New York in each of the past two postseasons.

    After Glaus' homer, Lidle retired 17 of his next 19 hitters. He finished with seven innings of five-hit ball in another strong start.

    ''Offensively, we couldn't put a lot of pressure on him,'' Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. ''He settled down and pitched a terrific game.''

    The A's wasted several scoring opportunities in the early innings, but they chipped back on Dye's solo homer in the second and Eric Chavez's sacrifice fly -- which was caught by Darin Erstad with a spectacular, leaping grab at the wall -- in the fifth.

    Anaheim rookie John Lackey was in trouble in four of his five innings, walking five batters but getting several big outs to keep the Angels ahead.

    The A's tied it when Durham homered off reliever Scott Schoeneweis leading off the seventh.

    ''I don't know where that came from,'' Durham said. ''I think it was a jet stream blowing out. Balls don't carry here at night.''

    Game notes

    Garret Anderson was a last-minute scratch from Anaheim's lineup with a slightly strained hamstring. Scioscia expects Anderson to play Tuesday, when Jarrod Washburn will pitch on three days of rest against Mark Mulder. ... Koch discovered in the eighth inning that he was wearing the wrong uniform top. He warmed up in his white shirt, then ran to the clubhouse and changed into his green jersey. ''That's a first,'' Koch said. ''Hopefully, it's a last. Actually, I might do it tomorrow. We won tonight.'' ... The Angels brought up infielder Alfredo Amezaga and catcher Sal Fasano from Triple-A Salt Lake and designated right-handed pitcher Elvin Nina for assignment.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press