Series: Game 3 of 3

Oakland won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, April 22
in 11
Game 2: Wednesday, April 23
Game 3: Thursday, April 24

Tigers 0

(2-18, 1-11 away)

Athletics 2

(12-10, 9-3 home)

    3:35 PM ET, April 24, 2003 Coliseum, Oakland, California 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000000000 0 3 2
    OAK 00001010 - 2 8 0

    W: M. Mulder (3-1)

    L: N. Cornejo (1-2)

    Mulder retires first 13 in dominant three-hitter

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Mark Mulder and his manager knew his left arm was fine when they went out golfing earlier this week and the pitcher was 1-over par after nine holes.

    On Thursday, Mulder's game was superb for nine innings. In his first outing since taking a ball in the forearm, he retired the first 13 batters and pitched a three-hitter for his first shutout since last June to lead the Oakland Athletics over the Detroit Tigers 2-0.

    During his golf outing with Ken Macha, Mulder finished with a 76 on a course in nearby Livermore.

    "I was surprised he asked me to play a day after I got hit in the arm," Mulder said.

    There were no signs the lump on his arm from Saturday's liner affected his delivery or control.

    Mulder (3-1) only allowed six balls out of the infield after the first inning in his most efficient start of the season. He threw just 25 pitches through three innings, 16 for strikes, and was out of the first inning in six pitches.

    Craig Monroe singled to shortstop in the fifth to break up Mulder's no-hit bid. The ball glanced off Mulder's glove, slowing it just enough for Monroe to barely beat out the throw by Miguel Tejada. Mulder struck out three and walked one.

    "I felt this good the last couple starts, but I just made some mistakes," he said. "I didn't make mistakes. I pretty much kept the same rhythm the whole game."

    The Tigers, who beat Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito on Wednesday for their second win of the season, are 2-18 -- the worst 20-game start in club history. They lost in Tim Hudson's start on Tuesday.

    "The three pitchers we just faced are the top dogs in baseball and we competed against them," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "We had a chance against them and that's some sort of positive."

    Detroit starter Nate Cornejo (1-2), who spent the majority of last season at Triple-A Toledo, gave up one run and five hits in six innings. Dean Palmer had two hits for the Tigers.

    "I didn't have my best stuff but I was able to mix it up and get some groundballs," Cornejo said. "Unfortunately, Mulder pitched a great game, too."

    Eric Byrnes went 2-for-3 and scored Oakland's first run in the fifth on Chris Singleton's sacrifice fly. The A's added an unearned run in the seventh, when shortstop Omar Infante committed two errors on the same play.

    A's right fielder Jermaine Dye left in the fifth because of discomfort in his right knee after slipping on the dirt while fielding a double by Dean Palmer. It rained earlier Thursday.

    Second baseman Mark Ellis and center fielder Singleton went to check on him and immediately waved trainer Larry Davis and Macha onto the field.

    After a brief conference, Dye slowly walked off under his own power.

    Dye, who broke his left fibia during the fourth game of the 2001 division series against the New York Yankees, was replaced by left fielder Terrence Long, and Byrnes came in to play left.

    Dye said he doesn't consider the injury serious and expects to be out only one or two games if at all. No tests were done on his knee, but he wore a protective sleeve on it after the game.

    "I don't know what it is," he said. "It felt like the tendon rolled over on the side of the bone. There's some swelling behind the bone and it's stiff now. I've done this before."

    Macha has been saying he wants his starters to go deep into games, and Mulder obliged. He struggled in his opening start this season but won his previous outing, 12-2 win over Texas on Saturday.

    Mulder's last shutout was June 12, 2002, against Milwaukee and his previous complete game came July 3 last year against Minnesota.

    Cornejo walked Scott Hatteberg with two outs in the sixth, loading the bases for Miguel Tejada, who flied out. Tejada, the reigning AL MVP, went 0-for-4 and is hitting .160.

    Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez fielded a chopper by Craig Paquette with his bare hand in the fourth and released the throw in the same motion, nailing Paquette at first just in time.

    Game notes
    Mulder is 9-1 with a 3.01 ERA over his last 14 starts dating to Aug. 17 last year. ... Cornejo's father, Mardie, went 4-2 in 25 relief appearances for the New York Mets in 1978, his only big league season. ... Mulder threw 96 pitches, 66 for strikes. ... The Tigers have the worst batting average in the majors at .177.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press