OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Terrence Long doubled and scored on
pinch-hitter Scott Hatteberg's bases-loaded single in the 12th
inning as the Oakland Athletics won their fourth straight, 2-1 over
the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
With a marathon victory at the start of a six-game homestand,
Oakland remained tied atop the AL West with the Seattle Mariners,
who beat Tampa Bay. Both teams have a one-game lead in the AL
wild-card race over the Boston Red Sox, who lost to Toronto.
Long led off the 12th with a double to the left-center gap
against John Parrish (0-1), and he advanced to third on Tim Raines
Jr.'s throwing error. After Baltimore walked two batters to load
the bases, Hatteberg drove Hector Carrasco's pitch through the
drawn-in infield to center.
Ramon Hernandez prevented a Baltimore run earlier in the 12th
with an exceptional tag at home plate.
Mike Wood (2-0) hit Luis Matos with a pitch, then bounced a
pickoff throw past Erubiel Durazo at first, allowing Matos to reach
third. When Jeff Conine grounded back to the mound, Wood threw home
-- and Hernandez caught the poor throw, did a pirouette on his knees
and reached back to tag Matos' foot at the plate.
The Orioles lost their third straight and fell to 0-4 at the
Coliseum this season.
The A's bullpen was exceptional behind rookie starter Rich
Harden, who walked six batters in five shaky innings. Chad Harville
and Keith Foulke retired 12 of 13 while pitching two scoreless
innings apiece among the bullpen's seven scoreless innings.
Baltimore's Jason Johnson remained unbeaten in six starts since
July 25. He shut out the A's into the seventh, but Mark Ellis' solo
homer ruined Johnson's chance to set a new career high with his
Nursing a 1-0 lead, Johnson had retired 13 straight and hadn't
allowed a runner past second base until Ellis hit a full-count
pitch into the left-field stands in the seventh. It was just the
13th homer of the light-hitting second baseman's career.
Johnson kicked disgustedly at the mound after watching the ball
land in the seats. He allowed five hits and a walk over seven
innings, striking out five.
Harden was horrifically wild in his fourth straight poor start
since beginning his career with four outstanding starts. He started
16 of the 23 hitters he faced with a ball, walking at least one
batter in each of his five innings.
Harden allowed three hits and struck out five, but the Orioles
didn't get a run until the fifth. Brook Fordyce hit a leadoff
double and eventually scored on two grounders, the last by Jeff
Ellis still has a turf burn on his right hand from diving
at SkyDome last week. ... LHP John Halama will start for Oakland on
Thursday in the series finale. It will be Halama's second start in
place of Mulder, who was in the A's clubhouse on Tuesday night,
supporting himself on crutches. ... Johnson is 10-5. He also won 10
games in 2001. ... The Orioles are back at the Coliseum for the
second time in seven weeks. Oakland swept a three-game series from
Baltimore shortly before the All-Star break. ... Matos stayed on
the ground for three minutes after Wood hit him on the left wrist.
He left the game in the bottom half of the 12th.