Scutaro hits game-winner to give A's third straight win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Marco Scutaro was considered the odd man
out to make Oakland's roster at the end of spring training.

He's been far from expendable since then.

Scutaro lined a game-winning single off the wall in left-center
with two outs in the ninth, lifting the Athletics to a 3-2 victory
over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

"You've got to be aggressive there, but you don't want to swing
at a bad pitch," said Scutaro, released by the Mets after the 2003
season. "I was looking for a fastball."

Justin Duchscherer (3-1) pitched two innings for the win as the
A's won their third straight and eighth game in June to surpass
their entire May win total of seven.

Pinch-hitter Bobby Kielty drew a 3-2 walk from Royce Ring (0-1)
to lead off the ninth, then Roberto Hernandez entered to face Keith
Ginter. Ginter's sacrifice bunt advanced Kielty, and pinch-hitter
Scott Hatteberg was intentionally walked to bring up Nick Swisher.

Swisher struck out, but Scutaro came up with the big hit on the
first pitch he saw to score Kielty.

Scutaro also had the winning hit April 27 against Chicago, and
the winning sacrifice bunt April 16 on which the pitcher committed
a throwing error.

Scutaro's reliable defense in the infield also has been key for
the A's, who were without reigning AL Rookie of the Year Bobby
Crosby for nearly two months early in the year as he recovered from
two fractured ribs.

Still, Scutaro keeps preparing himself to be sent down. That
seems unlikely now.

"He's been a clutch hitter for us," manager Ken Macha said.
"When the game's on the line, you can rip the first pitch."

The Mets lost for the sixth time in seven games, and they have
failed to score more than three runs in any of those losses. They
lost 5-0 in the opener Tuesday night.

Crosby blooped a single into shallow left field in the sixth to
break a scoreless tie, and Eric Chavez -- the designated hitter for
the second straight day as he nurses a sore throwing shoulder --
followed with an RBI triple.

But starter Dan Haren couldn't hold the lead, and he missed a
shot at his fourth straight win.

He gave up back-to-back doubles to David Wright and Doug
Mientkiewicz in the seventh, then a tying sacrifice fly to Jose
Reyes to tie it at 2.

"It was good to see they scored two and we answered right
back," Mientkiewicz said. "Those little things you build on as an
offense. It stinks to lose, but we have to take a positive out of

Haren and Victor Zambrano engaged in an impressive pitcher's
duel for seven innings, but neither had anything to show for it.

Haren calmly worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second,
getting Victor Diaz to ground out to end the threat. Haren had only
allowed two walks over his last four starts.

After Kaz Matsui singled in the third, Haren retired the next 10
batters before Cliff Floyd's two-out single in the sixth. Haren
then plunked Mike Piazza in the back of the left shoulder.

The right-hander allowed five hits and two runs in seven
innings, struck out eight and walked two.

Zambrano was equally as sharp, giving up two runs and five hits
in 7 2/3 innings.

He retired 17 of his first 19 batters, allowing a second-inning
walk to Ginter followed by a double from Eric Byrnes. After that,
he got 12 straight outs before Crosby's single in the sixth.

Diaz made a terrific catch in right field in the fifth to rob
Byrnes of an extra-base hit. Diaz sprinted toward the wall and
backhanded the ball just before brushing up against the fence.

Mets manager Willie Randolph waited to write the lineup until
outfielder Mike Cameron had gone through work on the field to test
his strained right quadriceps muscle and swollen knee.

Cameron, who dislocated his left ring finger in Sunday's game
against the Angels, wore two patches on the leg over night to
decrease the swelling but he was still given another day to

Game notes
Crosby batted third for the first time this season and the
second time in his career. He entered as a defensive replacement
for Miguel Tejada in the sixth inning of a 7-4 loss at Seattle on
Sept. 27, 2003. ... The Mets placed 2B Miguel Cairo on the 15-day
disabled list before the game with a strained left hamstring and
called up 1B-OF Brian Daubach from Triple-A Norfolk. ... A's DH
Erubiel Durazo, on the DL with tendinitis in his left elbow, will
fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to be examined by Angels' team
doctor Lewis Yocum. ... Oakland No. 2 starter Rich Harden, nursing
a strained stomach muscle, will pitch for Triple-A Sacramento on
Friday for a rehab assignment.