Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Oakland leads 2-0 (as of 9/28)

Game 1: Friday, September 27
Oakland 3Final
Texas 2
Game 2: Saturday, September 28
Oakland 10Final
Texas 8
Game 3: Sunday, September 29
Oakland 8Final
Texas 7

Athletics 10

(102-59, 48-32 away)

Rangers 8

(72-89, 42-38 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 28, 2002

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 112002400 10 - -
    TEX 430000100 8 - -

    W: T. Lilly (5-7)

    L: D. Kolb (3-6)

    S: J. Mecir (1)

    A's overcome 5-run deficit to trip Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- With the Oakland Athletics headed into their last regular-season game with a chance at earning home-field advantage through the AL playoffs, Art Howe is giving it his best shot.

    Miguel Tejada
    Tejada

    "We're going to play our regulars to start the game Sunday and then go from there,'' the Oakland manager said after his A's rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Texas Rangers 10-8 Saturday night.

    "You want to have some momentum going into the playoffs,'' he said.

    Terrance Long and Eric Byrnes, one of four rookies in the starting lineup Saturday, had consecutive RBI singles in the seventh inning when the A's scored four times to erase a 7-6 deficit. Oakland has won 11 of its last 15.

    Miguel Tejada homered twice for the A's, who still remained a half-game behind the New York Yankees in the competition for home-field advantage through the AL playoffs.

    Oakland (102-59) must win Sunday to have a chance to gain home-field advantage over New York (102-58), which holds the tiebreaker because it won the season series 5-4. If the A's beat Texas on Sunday and the Yankees lose at Baltimore, New York would have to play at home Monday against Tampa Bay, making up Thursday's rainout.

    Texas led 7-2 in the third and was ahead 7-6 in the seventh when Danny Kolb (3-6) hit Jermaine Dye with a pitch and walked Olmedo Saenz, the only two batters he faced.

    Long hit a pinch-single off Juan Alvarez that tied the score, and Byrnes broke the tie.

    Rookie Jason Grabowski added an RBI triple and Cody McKay, who had his first two major league hits in his previous two at-bats, hit a sacrifice fly for a 10-7 lead.

    Kevin Mench and Hank Blalock both had two-runs singles to give Texas a 7-2 lead after two innings. The A's then scored eight unanswered runs before Todd Greene's 10th homer off Chad Bradford in the seventh.

    Ted Lilly (5-7) pitched two shutout innings, and Jim Mecir got three outs for his first save.

    Lilly was the scheduled starter, but Howe decided instead to use the left-hander out of the bullpen to prepare for the playoffs. Lilly, Oakland's third pitcher, struck out two while pitching the fifth and sixth innings.

    "I liked it and enjoyed it,'' Lilly said. "It's nice to get an outing in the bullpen before the playoffs, so that helps.''

    Starter Aaron Harang lasted just 1 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs, three hits and four walks. He threw just 29 of 57 pitches for strikes in his first start since Aug. 25.

    Tejada's homer in the first gave Oakland a 1-0 lead. But the Rangers had a four-run first capped by Mench's single, one of only two hits in the inning as Harang walked two and hit Alex Rodriguez in the back with a pitch.

    Blalock, who drew a bases-loaded walk in the first, put the Rangers ahead 7-2 with his two-run single in the second.

    In the third, Tejada hit a two-run homer to make it 7-4. The A's scored two unearned runs in the sixth.

    Tejada, who didn't start Friday night, played only the first half of Saturday's game. He is hitting .308 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs.

    Rodriguez was 0-for-2 before leaving after seven innings when his back stiffened. Since hitting his 57th homer Wednesday night, A-Rod is 0-for-9 with four walks.

    "I don't really look at A-Rod, I just go out there and play my game. My competition is not for the MVP, my competition is to win the game,'' Tejada said. "I'm going to leave that decision up to the reporters.''

    All three Oakland homers came off rookie Ben Kozlowski, in his second start after spending most of the season in the minor leagues. He got only as high as Double-A before getting called up after Tulsa finished the Texas League playoffs two weeks ago.

    "For a guy who only pitched a little in Double-A, Ben did a nice job,'' Rangers manager Jerry Narron said. "He will have a good idea what he has to work on this fall and this winter. It's a tremendous learning experience for a guy that is a big part of our future.''

    Kozlowski allowed four runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

    Game notes


    Narron said he would see how Rodriguez feels Sunday before deciding if he will play the season finale. ... Tejada has played in 431 straight games, the longest active streak in the major leagues. He had missed just nine innings this season before the Texas series. ... Oakland manager Art Howe, again resting some key players before next week's playoff series against Minnesota, started four rookies. 2B Jose Flores and C McKay made their first career starts. ... Texas has lost 12 of 15.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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