Series: Game 2 of 3

Oakland leads 2-0 (as of 4/19)

Game 1: Friday, April 18
Game 2: Saturday, April 19
Game 3: Sunday, April 20

Rangers 2

(7-11, 2-6 away)

Athletics 12

(10-8, 7-1 home)

    4:05 PM ET, April 19, 2003 Coliseum, Oakland, California 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 000101000 2 5 2
    OAK 02221212 - 12 15 0

    W: M. Mulder (2-1)

    L: I. Valdez (2-2)

    Mulder gets job done despite scare

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Mark Mulder's pitching actually became better after a line drive hit his throwing arm.

    "Go figure,'' teammate Scott Hatteberg said.

    Nothing's that surprising when it comes to one of Oakland's "Big Three'' pitchers -- Mulder, Tim Hudson or Barry Zito.

    Mulder pitched seven strong innings and Miguel Tejada and Hatteberg homered as the Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 12-2 Saturday.

    The lefty gave the crowd of 25,792 a scare when he stopped a line drive by Einar Diaz in the third. After being checked by trainer Larry Davis, Mulder stayed in the game.

    He retired the next four batters, including two straight strikeouts.

    "I had to slow down,'' he said. "I couldn't get a lot of effort into my pitches. It actually helped me. I couldn't overthrow. Everything slowed down and I had to concentrate on making my pitches.''

    Mulder (2-1), who's won 40 games the past two seasons, was challenged in several innings. He allowed baserunners to reach second in the first, second and fifth innings, but was able to get out of each jam unscathed.

    He gave up two runs on five hits, striking out five and walking two.

    "He's gotten a little better each time out,'' A's manager Ken Macha said. "He's gotten a little further into the game and he's throwing the ball really nicely downhill.''

    Rafael Palmeiro and Carl Everett each homered for Texas, which lost its fourth straight road game.

    Everett complained to umpires before the start of the sixth inning that he had been hit in the back of the head with a cell phone thrown by a fan in right field. Security was beefed up in the area, and Oakland's Terrence Long picked something up and threw it back into the stands when he got out there in the sixth.

    The A's said the fan was arrested, and Everett said he plans to press charges.

    "Luckily I was wearing a hat,'' Everett said. "If it wasn't for the hat, I'd be cut back there. That fan should be ashamed of himself.''

    Everett was hit four days after umpire Laz Diaz was attacked by a fan Tuesday at U.S. Cellular field in Chicago during a White Sox-Royals game.

    "This is always happening in major league baseball and maybe now they'll do something about it,'' Everett said. "I'm going to be pressing charges. Fans pointed him out and they arrested him. It's just ignorance and alcohol and probably too much of both. That's what causes this.''

    Everett then stepped to the plate and homered after being booed. When he took the field in the sixth, Everett pointed up at the fans behind him.

    Ramon Hernandez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in a 10-pitch at-bat in the fifth for Oakland. He also doubled in the seventh after getting plunked twice.

    Eric Chavez had three hits, including a single that followed Tejada's fourth-inning homer that chased Ismael Valdes (2-2), who had pitched eight shutout innings Monday against Anaheim but wasn't sharp this start.

    Long also had two hits and drove in two runs for the defending AL West champion A's, who appear to be back on track at home after a 3-7 road trip that included their first six-game losing streak in two years.

    "It's good for us to get home and get two under our belt,'' Hatteberg said.

    Valdes committed an error at first base in the second inning when he bobbled the throw from first baseman Palmeiro and allowed Long to get aboard. The A's scored two unearned runs in the inning.

    Chris Singleton snapped an 0-for-7 slump with a single that drove home Long for the A's first run. Ron Gant scored the other unearned run when Palmeiro botched a pickoff attempt when the ball went off his glove and got past him.

    Right-hander Rosman Garcia entered the game in the sixth to make his major league debut for Texas, but immediately gave up a double to Mark Ellis that ended the leadoff hitter's 0-for-12 slump, and the homer to Hatteberg.

    Valdes allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

    "When I tried to make a pitch, they hit it,'' Valdes said.

    Game notes

    Alex Rodriguez struck out three times, all swinging. He was hit on the right knee by a pitch by Chad Bradford in the eighth that led to the umpires warning both benches. ... Oakland RF Jermaine Dye got a "mental'' day off. Long, the regular LF, moved to right, and Gant started in left. Dye also is nursing a sore and tight right shoulder, though he says it doesn't affect his hitting or throwing.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press