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Dye makes clutch catch, scores in 11th

5/22/2004

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bobby Crosby made Kansas City pay for
walking the batter ahead of him intentionally.

Crosby followed the intentional walk to Erubiel Durazo in the
11th inning with an RBI infield single, giving the Oakland
Athletics a 5-4 victory over the Royals on Saturday.

"You want to make them feel like they screwed up when they walk
the guy ahead of me," Crosby said. "That makes me mad and I'm
going to try to get them. The guy did the wrong thing."

Jermaine Dye, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the
ninth, made a clutch catch in the top of the 11th and then singled
with one out in the bottom half to start the rally.

Eric Chavez tied it with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth
off new closer Jeremy Affeldt, making his first relief appearance
after eight starts.

"I had an opportunity earlier and couldn't do it, but I made
the most of the next one," Chavez said. "I was disappointed not
to bring in the run in the fifth, so I was happy to get another
chance. I got a good pitch and put a good swing on it."

Twenty-year-old Zack Greinke nearly beat Barry Zito in his major
league debut, leaving with a 4-2 lead before Affeldt blew it.

"That's the worst possible time to give that up," said
Affeldt, who had four saves for the Royals last year. "When it
happened, my heart just went out of me. It was pretty devastating.
You want to try and get the kid the win and it doesn't happen. It's
frustrating. Right now it seems like the hole can't get any
deeper."

The Royals have lost nine straight to Oakland, including all
five games this year.

Joe Randa opened the 11th with a double and went to third on
Benito Santiago's sacrifice. After Brandon Berger fouled out, Desi
Relaford hit a towering fly into right that Dye caught on the
warning track and held on to as he crashed into the wall and fell
to the ground.

In the bottom half, Dye and Scott Hatteberg singled and Durazo
was walked intentionally by Scott Sullivan (3-1) ahead of Crosby's
winner, which Relaford tracked down behind second but had no chance
at getting the speedy Crosby.

"Maybe if the throw is right on the money I have a chance,"
Relaford said. "But it was on the shortstop side of the bag and
after it hit the mound it started spinning away from me. It was
perfectly placed."

Mike Sweeney homered and Berger hit a two-run double for Kansas
City. Angel Berroa added an RBI single for the Royals, who have
lost 15 of their last 21 games.

Justin Duchscherer (2-1) pitched the 11th for the win.

Durazo homered for Oakland, which extended its winning streak to
a season-high four and has won 10 of 12.

Zito is unbeaten in eight career starts against the Royals, but
he's yet to win at home this season.

Greinke went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a
walk and strikeout. On a strict pitch count, Greinke came out after
throwing 84 pitches.

He did manage to escape a threat in the fifth. With two outs,
Mark McLemore doubled, Eric Byrnes was hit by a pitch and Billy
McMillon walked. Greinke got Chavez to ground out to second to end
the inning.

"I threw it as slow as I could because he was on everything I
threw as fast as I could," Greinke said. "The atmosphere was
great here and the fans got loud there. It was pretty exciting."

Chavez also grounded out with runners on second and third in the
seventh.

"Not everything is perfect but I expect to be in a groove,"
Chavez said. "To do that I have to be more consistent."

Zito lasted seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits
with two walks and seven strikeouts.

"It was a strange game," Zito said. "I gave up that many runs
and we were still in it."

Sweeney's sixth home run of the season, a shot into the
left-field bleachers on the first pitch he saw leading off the
fourth, gave the Royals a 1-0 edge.

Berger's two-run double put Kansas City in front in the sixth.
Ken Harvey doubled and Randa walked. With two outs and a full
count, both runners scored easily when Berger hit the ball off the
left-field wall.

Game notes
Reggie Jackson's No. 9 was retired by the A's before the
game. ... Royals OF Juan Gonzalez sat out with tightness in his
lower back. ... RHP Shawn Camp was optioned to Triple-A Omaha to
make room for Greinke. ... McMillon started for just the sixth time
all season. ... The A's recorded their 3,000th win in Oakland
history and now have a record of 3,000-2,744 since coming to the
area in 1968.