Etherton pitches seven-plus strong innings

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Nobody in the Oakland clubhouse could
remember the Athletics' last lopsided win.

They beat Tampa Bay by five runs on April 10, but every victory
since had been a challenge until the A's routed the World Series
champions Wednesday.

Eric Chavez hit a three-run homer, David Wells flopped in his
first start in three weeks and the A's defeated the Boston Red Sox
13-6 to win the three-game series. Oakland had dropped its previous
four series since taking two of three from Seattle from April
29-May 1.

"It's been a while since we've done that," Chavez said of the
slugfest. "We've had a lack of production at the plate, and now
we're starting to swing the bats better."

Seth Etherton (1-0), called up from Triple-A Sacramento on
Sunday to make his first major league appearance since 2003,
pitched 7 1/3 strong innings a day before his wife was scheduled to
deliver their first child -- and an Oakland starting pitcher got
plenty of run support for a change.

The right-hander retired 15 of the first 17 Boston batters,
allowing a leadoff homer to Jason Varitek in the third. Mark
Bellhorn hit a solo shot of his own to start the sixth for the Red
Sox, who have lost three of four and four of six.

The A's batted around in the first two innings. By then, every
starter but Keith Ginter had a hit, though he had contributed a
sacrifice fly and a walk.

Eric Byrnes had four hits and scored three runs, and Jason
Kendall, Scott Hatteberg and Mark Ellis each had three of Oakland's
19 hits. Mark Kotsay had a two-run double and Chavez drove in four
runs as Oakland established season highs for hits and runs.

"I don't remember the last time we coasted to a win like
this," said Byrnes, batting .550 (11-for-20) during his current
five-game hitting streak. "This feels great."

The A's reached double figures in runs for the first time all
year -- they were the only team in the majors that hadn't scored 10
or more in a game.

This is a whirlwind week for Etherton, who hadn't pitched in the
majors since losing a start for Cincinnati on Sept. 17, 2003, at

After the game, he was headed straight to the airport to return
home to Laguna Beach, Calif., where his wife, Summer, will be
induced Thursday ahead of her May 24 due date. Their son will be
named Duke Michael -- after Duke Snider -- and the team is letting
Etherton stay home until Sunday.

"It's a big week," Etherton said. "Now it's time to get

Etherton retired his first six batters on 22 pitches before
allowing Varitek's eighth homer. His 7 1/3 innings matched his
career high and he received a warm ovation when he left after
allowing three straight baserunners.

"Maybe he'll hit the lottery," manager Ken Macha said.
"Things happen in threes, don't they?"

Tim Harikkala relieved and gave up a two-run double to Kevin
Youkilis, an RBI single to Jay Payton and Trot Nixon's RBI single.

The A's quickly staked Etherton to a 4-0 lead, welcoming back
Wells (2-4) with six hits in the left-hander's 26-pitch first
inning. Wells was done after 1 1/3 innings, his shortest outing
since June 8, 2001, with the Chicago White Sox when he faced five
Cubs batters without getting an out.

"I didn't come close to helping out today," Wells said. "It's
one of those days you want to find a hole and crawl in it. But I'll
be back out there. ... A bad day is a bad day, and there's nothing
you can do about it."

The A's tagged Wells for seven runs and nine hits in his sixth
start of the year and first since April 25 because of a sprained
right foot.

Kotsay tested Wells right away, bunting for a leadoff single.
Byrnes and Kendall followed with singles to load the bases. Chavez
drove in a run on a fielder's choice, and Ginter hit a sacrifice

Hatteberg followed with an RBI double off the wall in
right-center, then Erubiel Durazo singled in a run to make it 4-0.
By the end of the second, Etherton had a 9-0 lead.

Chavez homered in the second for his second in two days, fourth
of the year and No. 167 of his career, tying him with Rickey
Henderson for sixth place in Oakland history.

When Chavez is hitting, it seems to affect the entire offense.

"That was nice," Ellis said. "It was good to finally break
out and score some runs. Wells is a good pitcher. We had a lot of
two-out hits."

Game notes
Oakland's 13 runs were the second-most allowed by Boston
this season. The Red Sox gave up 14 last Friday at Seattle. ... A's
closer Octavio Dotel flew to Los Angeles to have his troublesome
elbow examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' team physician.
Macha didn't expect to announce any results until Friday. ... Red
Sox RHP Curt Schilling, on the disabled list with a bruised right
ankle and wearing a protective boot, will be examined Friday back
in Boston. ... Red Sox SS Edgar Renteria got the day off.