Series: Game 3 of 3

Oakland won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, May 13
Game 2: Wednesday, May 14
Game 3: Thursday, May 15

Athletics 11

(25-15, 9-10 away)

Tigers 2

(9-29, 3-14 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 15, 2003

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

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    OAK 600230000 11 12 1
    DET 020000000 2 5 1

    W: B. Zito (6-3)

    L: A. Bernero (0-6)

    Oakland scores six runs in first to support Zito

    DETROIT (AP) -- Eric Byrnes was glad to provide Barry Zito with some run support, even if it did turn Tim Hudson into a heckler.

    Byrnes hit a three-run triple in Oakland's six-run first and Zito pitched six strong innings as the Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 11-2 Thursday night.

    "It was nice to get a good cushion for Barry,'' said Byrnes, who was 2-for-3 with a career-high four RBI. "We obviously felt like we had it locked up after the top of the first because we had a guy like Barry on the mound.

    "But Huddy was giving Zito a hard time about stealing all the runs. He was saying, 'Share the wealth.' We were having a good time."

    The A's won their eighth straight series and 11th in their last 13. Oakland (25-15) has its best record after 40 games since 1990.

    Hudson is among AL leaders with a 2.88 ERA, but he is just 3-1 because of a lack of run support. He gave up only one run over eight innings in Detroit's 2-1 win on Wednesday, with Ricardo Rincon taking the loss.

    "I was like, c'mon," Hudson said.

    Zito didn't want to hear from his teammate, but he did.

    "He was razzing me in the first inning, like I took all his runs," Zito said. "He was yelling at me and I was just trying to stay focused."

    Detroit had six wins -- of a major league low nine -- in its nine previous games.

    "We had our share of tough luck," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "Unfortunately, Adam couldn't get out of that and they end up getting six runs. You look back, that was pretty much the ballgame."

    Zito (6-3) gave up two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and two walks. The defending AL Cy Young Award winner struck out five and retired the last nine Tigers he faced.

    Zito's career record is 53-20 and his 72.6 winning percentage is the best of any pitcher with at least 50 wins, but he is just 4-4 against the Tigers.

    "It's not so much that the Tigers get in my head, but it's probably my fault for not being aggressive enough," Zito said.

    He was 2-2 in his previous four starts after giving up a total of eight runs because Oakland supported him with just eight runs.

    Adam Bernero (0-6) gave up eight runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out two over 3 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. He had not allowed more than five runs in his seven previous starts this season.

    Bernero entered the game with the lowest run support -- 1.22 runs per nine innings pitched -- but it would have been tough for the Tigers to help him out enough after Oakland's first-inning outburst.

    The A's scored six runs in the first with two outs.

    Ramon Hernandez beat Bernero's throw on an infield hit, which scored Miguel Tejada. Terrence Long then walked to load the bases and Byrnes cleared them with a his fourth triple, which bounced into the center-field wall.

    The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the home half, but Zito got Carlos Pena to fly out to end the threat.

    Detroit's Andres Torres hit an RBI triple in the second, and scored on an error.

    The A's didn't need to give Zito more run support, but they did. Scott Hatteberg, the first to face Wilfredo Ledezma, hit a two-run double in the fourth to put Oakland ahead 8-2.

    Erubiel Durazo and Hernandez led off the fifth with a walk and single and scored on a throwing error by third baseman Dmitri Young. Byrnes' RBI single gave the A's an 11-2 lead.

    Ledezma gave up three runs -- two earned -- and four hits.

    Game notes
    Oakland started 28-12 in 1990. ... Oakland's Jim Mecir, Michael Neu and Micah Bowie pitched three innings of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit. ... Byrnes extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... Hatteberg snapped an 0-16 skid with a single in the second. ... The Tigers had home runs in four straight games and six of seven. ... Detroit has been outscored 22-7 in the first inning this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press