Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 3

Seattle won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, September 24
Oakland 7Final
Seattle 8
Game 2: Wednesday, September 25
Oakland 2Final
Seattle 3
Game 3: Thursday, September 26
Oakland 5Final
in 10
Seattle 3

Athletics 5

(100-59, 46-32 away)

Mariners 3

(92-67, 48-33 home)

    6:35 PM ET, September 26, 2002

    Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

    12345678910 R H E
    OAK 0000000113 5 - -
    SEA 0002000001 3 - -

    W: B. Koch (11-4)

    L: S. Hasegawa (8-3)

    Hatteberg's two-out double wins it for A's

    SEATTLE (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics were all smiles, high-fives and handshakes on the infield grass at Safeco Field. Then it was party time inside the visitors clubhouse.

    Art Howe

    Billy Koch gets the pleasure of dousing manager Art Howe with champagne after the A's wrapped up the AL West title.

    Miguel Tejada tied the game with a ninth-inning homer and Scott Hatteberg hit a two-out, two-run double in the 10th as Oakland beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 Thursday, clinching the American League West championship for the second time in three years.

    ''This group of guys is so family-like,'' Hatteberg said. ''It makes it sweeter and it helps us. We are really excited.''

    Oakland, which had failed to hold eighth-inning leads against Seattle the previous two days, opens the AL playoffs at home Tuesday against Minnesota. The A's are a half-game behind the New York Yankees, who play Anaheim in the first round, for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    The A's wore championship T-shirts over their uniforms and donned ''2002 AL West champions'' hats in a clubhouse celebration that lasted 40 minutes. David Justice danced for cameras, and manager Art Howe was doused several times with champagne, beer and Gatorade.

    ''We can kick back, enjoy it for a while and start to work hard again tomorrow,'' said Billy Koch (11-4), who pitched two innings for the victory. ''I don't know about any urgency, but we just wanted to get it done, win, and wrap up the West. It feels good to get it out of the way.''

    After Hatteberg's hit off Shigetoshi Hasegawa (8-3) put Oakland ahead 4-2, Tejada had a run-scoring single. Tejada, who went 4-for-5, had tied the score with a one-out solo homer in the ninth off Kazuhiro Sasaki, who blew a save for the eighth time in 45 chances.

    ''There weren't many guys hitting good against Sasaki,'' Tejada said. ''I was happy I got a hit against him in that situation. The only thing I said was, 'I want to be on base.' ... I didn't think the ball would get out. I didn't think I hit it that hard.''

    Tejada has a .306 batting average, 201 hits, 32 homers and 127 RBI, making him a strong candidate to become the AL's Most Valuable Player.

    ''It topped off a fantastic year for him,'' Howe said. ''What can I say? He played every single inning for us. Every time we needed him, he stepped up and came through. He just had a phenomenal season.''

    It was subdued in the Mariners clubhouse.

    ''We were hoping they would do their celebrating somewhere else,'' Seattle manager Lou Piniella said.

    Seattle, which tied the major league record with 116 victories last year before losing to the Yankees in the AL championship series, was eliminated from postseason contention about 15 minutes before the start of the game Thursday when Anaheim beat Texas 10-5.

    ''It wasn't as fun as it could have been,'' said Bret Boone, who hit his 24th homer in the fourth. ''It was a longshot anyway. We kept that glimmer alive for a long time. Over the last 10 games, we showed a lot of character.''

    The A's would have clinched earlier in the day if Anaheim had lost at Texas.

    ''I don't think anybody wanted to back into it,'' Howe said. ''Even if the Rangers had won today, we didn't back into anything. We had a great year and clinched it with a victory. We went our in style today. That was great.''

    There was little reaction from the fans at Safeco Field when the Angels' game ended. The mood carried over to the Mariners.

    ''It was kind of somber going into the game,'' reliever Jeff Nelson said. ''Everybody had some hope. When we saw that score, it made things kind of meaningless.''

    Seattle went ahead in the fourth on consecutive homers, Boone's 24th and Mike Cameron's 25th. Boone favored his right foot as he rounded the bases, limping slightly because of a bruised right heel.

    Greg Myers pulled the A's to a run down in the eighth with a run-scoring grounder that drove in John Mabry, who had walked.

    Oakland's Cory Lidle allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings, while Seattle's Joel Pineiro gave up five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 shutout innings.

    Game notes


    The A's are the 18th team to win 100 games in consecutive seasons. The last was the 1997-99 Atlanta Braves. The A's last consecutive 100-victory seasons were in 1929-31, when the team was in Philadelphia. ... Nelson was ejected in the eighth by plate umpire Tim McClelland for arguing balls and strikes, just as Piniella was on the field to make a change. ''Lou asked, 'Why did you throw him out?' He said, 'Well, you were going to make a change anyway.''' ... Boone and Cameron combined for the seventh set of consecutive homers by the Mariners this season. ... The sellout crowd of 45,822 set a Seattle single-season attendance record of 3,540,658, topping the 3,507,975 of last season. It was the 38th sellout at Safeco Field this season and the second consecutive year the Mariners have led the majors in attendance.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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