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Swisher, Ellis homer in 12th as A's sweep O's

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Four home runs and a baserunning gaffe by the
Baltimore Orioles enabled the Oakland Athletics to take a wealth of
momentum into their showdown with the Los Angeles Angels.

Nick Swisher and Mark Ellis homered off Jorge Julio in a
five-run 12th inning, and the Athletics completed a four-game sweep
of the Orioles with a 10-5 victory Monday.

Jay Payton and Dan Johnson also homered for the A's, whose sixth
straight win extended their lead in the AL West to one full game
over the idle Angels. The teams begin a three-game series Tuesday
night in Anaheim.

"We battled to get in this spot, and we've got to feel proud
about what we've accomplished," Swisher said. "We just want to
keep it going right now; we just need to keep riding that wave."

Oakland scored all its run on homers. Payton hit a two-run shot
in the first inning and Johnson connected with two on in the sixth.
The A's have 18 home runs in their last six games.

Kiko Calero (3-1) worked two perfect innings to seal Oakland's
first four-game sweep in Baltimore since the A's moved from Kansas
City in 1968.

The Orioles had a chance to break a 5-all tie in the eighth,
putting runners at the corners with no outs against Justin
Duchscherer, but pinch-runner Luis Matos held at third base when
Sal Fasano hit into a double play. Brian Roberts followed with a
groundout.

The A's were amazed that Matos didn't break for home as soon as
Fasano's grounder headed toward shortstop.

"We felt like we were playing with house money when they failed
to run home on that ball," third baseman Eric Chavez said. "That
was definitely miscommunication on their part. We got lucky, they
had a brain cramp on that play."

Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo, who spent 14 years as a
third base coach, was quick to acknowledge that Matos should have
been running on the play.

"That's normally an automatic situation that you go, and
obviously we didn't, so I guess that comes back to me," he said.
"In that situation, you pretty much want to stay out of the double
play no matter where the ball is hit."

Third base coach Rick Dempsey, who moved from first base shortly
after Perlozzo took over for Lee Mazzilli on Aug. 4, took the
blame.

"It was bad judgment on my part," Dempsey said. "It wasn't
[Matos'] fault at all. It was 100 percent my fault. He did exactly
what I told him to do. I have to live with that."

Said Matos: "The third base coach tells you to stay, you stay.
I don't want to look like a bad runner."

Oakland finally took advantage of the mistake in the 12th.

Johnson led off by reaching third base when Eric Byrnes dropped
his liner to left, and Swisher followed by hitting a 2-2 pitch from
Julio (3-4) over the right-field wall. Marco Scutaro and Jason
Kendall both singled before Ellis hit his eighth homer, the fifth
in six games.

Three outs later, the A's turned their attention toward the
Angels.

"I think it will be fun, two top teams," manager Ken Macha
said. "This is where the fun begins."

Jay Gibbons homered and Melvin Mora had two RBI for the
Orioles, who have lost nine of 10. After losing two of three to the
Angels, Baltimore concluded a 1-6 homestand by being outscored
36-12 in four games against Oakland.

"That was a tough loss," Perlozzo said. "There are two things
left to do: You can walk away from here with your tail between your
legs, or you can pick it up and go after them tomorrow. We're going
to choose to pick it up and go get 'em."

Down 2-0, Baltimore took its first lead of the series with a
three-run fifth. After Fasano drew a one-out walk and took third on
a single by Roberts, Mora hit a two-run double to left and Javy
Lopez chased Oakland starter Kirk Saarloos with a two-out RBI
single.

Saarloos, who was bidding to win his fifth straight decision,
allowed three runs, five hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.

The A's regained the lead in the sixth. Orioles starter Erik
Bedard retired 14 straight batters before Scott Hatteberg hit a
two-out single and Bobby Kielty walked. Johnson hit Bedard's next
pitch into the right-field bleachers, extending his run of games
with at least one RBI to eight.

Gibbons hit his 18th homer in the bottom half, and Baltimore
made it 5-all in the seventh when Lopez drew a two-out walk and
scored on B.J. Surhoff's double.

Game notes
Oakland won the season series 7-4. ... It was the second
time in nine games that Baltimore scored at least five runs. ...
Oakland has scored first in six straight games and outscored the
opposition 22-0 over the first three innings during its winning
streak.