Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Oakland leads 1-0 (as of 7/31)

Game 1: Monday, July 31
Oakland3Final
LA Angels1
Game 2: Tuesday, August 1
Oakland2Final
LA Angels3
Game 3: Wednesday, August 2
Oakland3Final
LA Angels2

Athletics 3

(56-50, 28-25 away)

Angels 1

(54-51, 24-25 home)

    10:05 PM ET, July 31, 2006

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 000001200 3 8 0
    LAA 000100000 1 8 0

    W: D. Haren (8-9)

    L: E. Santana (11-5)

    Haren stifles Angels bats, keeps A's in AL West lead

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Dan Haren wanted to finish what he started, especially with closer Huston Street getting the night off.

    Haren scattered eight hits in a complete game, Jay Payton hit a two-run homer and Milton Bradley connected again to lead the Oakland Athletics past the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Monday.

    Street, who was charged with his seventh blown save of the season on Sunday, was given a rest by manager Ken Macha after pitching in four of the previous five games.

    "Knowing Street was down, I definitely wanted to take the ball for the ninth inning," Haren said after his second complete game this season. "In that situation, if Street's good to go, I feel 100 percent comfortable giving him the ball. But there was no pressure at all to finish it. Our whole bullpen's been great the whole year."

    Haren (8-9) overcame a solo homer by Juan Rivera and went the distance for the fifth time in 76 career starts. The right-hander struck out five and walked none in a rematch of his July 9 duel with Ervin Santana -- which the Angels won 4-2 at Oakland.

    "The last time I pitched against them, they were really aggressive -- and before I knew it, it was 2-0 and they had a bunch of hits off me," Haren said. "I didn't necessarily try to throw soft stuff tonight or try to keep them off-balance. I just focused more on making better pitches early in the count. That's why I was able to keep my pitch count down."

    Santana (11-5) allowed three runs and eight hits over eight innings but lost his second consecutive start after going 7-0 in his previous nine outings. The right-hander, who came in 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA in four career starts against Oakland, struck out two and walked one.

    The AL West-leading Athletics began a nine-game road trip against division opponents with their fifth victory in six tries. They lead the second-place Angels by 1½ games.

    Bradley, who ended Sunday's 6-5 win over Toronto with his first game-winning homer, angrily flung his bat toward the first base dugout after plate umpire Brian O'Nora called him out on strikes his first time up. But in the sixth, Bradley drove a 2-0 pitch deep into the right-field seats for his seventh home run.

    Bradley is batting .406 with four homers and 17 RBI in 16 games since the All-Star break, when he returned from the disabled list after missing 24 games with a strained left shoulder.

    "When we got him, we knew we were getting an impact player," third baseman Eric Chavez said. "Now he's healthy, and it's a good time for him to be hot and to prove himself. But we've got a good team here and we depend on everybody."

    Payton gave Oakland a 3-1 lead in the seventh with his seventh homer following a leadoff single by Chavez. Each of Payton's last six home runs have either put Oakland ahead or tied the score.

    "Ervin made a couple of mistakes with breaking balls," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Bradley dropped the head of the bat on it, and Payton got another breaking ball that got a little too much of the plate. Outside of that, Ervin pitched a terrific game. But we just couldn't get enough hits with guys in scoring position to get a bigger lead."

    The Angels, who arrived in Southern California near dawn following Sunday night's 10-4 victory at Boston, took the lead in the fourth on Rivera's two-out homer to left-center. It was his 17th home run this season and 11th this month, tying the franchise record for homers in July, set in 1979 by Don Baylor.

    Rivera finished July with a .364 average and 25 RBI in 25 games. He was a part-time player most of last season for the Angels, but started the final 17 games -- a stretch in which they went 14-3 to secure their second straight AL West crown.

    The non-waiver trade deadline came and went without either team making a deal. The Angels were coveting another big bat, but general manager Bill Stoneman felt the price was too prohibitive. Still, second baseman Adam Kennedy is confident they have enough offense to win a third straight division title.

    "This was the same lineup that put it on (Curt) Schilling pretty good last night, so to say that might be exaggerating a bit much," Kennedy said. "We were a little sluggish tonight, but we'll be OK."

    Game notes


    Marco Scutaro started at SS for the A's in place of Bobby Crosby, who complained of back soreness during batting practice. ... Kennedy singled his first time up to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games, the longest by an Angel this season. He had a 13-game streak in June 2005. ... The Angels' record for home runs in a month is 13, by Tim Salmon in June 1996 and Mo Vaughn in May 2000.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES