Catcher's interference call sends A's to sixth straight win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Texas manager Buck Showalter conceded the
plate umpire made the correct call on a most unusual game-ending

The Oakland Athletics got the final out when Mark DeRosa
interfered with catcher Jason Kendall and beat the Rangers 7-6
Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to six.

Hank Blalock hit a two-run single with one out in the ninth
against Huston Street, pulling the Rangers within a run.

On a 3-2 pitch to DeRosa, pinch-runner Jerry Hairston Jr. took
off for second. DeRosa struck out swinging and his momentum carried
him across the plate, interfering with Kendall's throw to second.
Plate umpire Jim Joyce immediately made the call, drawing an
argument from Showalter.

"He probably got it right," Showalter said. "It is involving
a veteran catcher."

Kendall said it was an easy call for Joyce to make.

"His bat hit my elbow," he said. "It's all because of
Huston's pitch. That was a pretty nasty pitch down and away. He
can't help but get carried over the plate."

Joyce, who had an unobstructed view of the play, said the call
was obvious.

"He made contact with the catcher," he said. "I understand
the momentum aspect but even unintentionally he cannot interfere
with the catcher."

Oakland rallied from a 4-0 deficit on consecutive homers by Nick
Swisher and Jay Payton, then took its first lead when Kendall hit a
sacrifice fly in the seventh.

The A's extended their lead to 7-4 in the eighth when second
baseman Ian Kinsler let Payton's grounder go through his legs for a
run-scoring error and Mark Ellis followed with an RBI groundout.

Kirk Saarloos (4-6) pitched four shutout innings for his first
win since June 10. Making his first appearance since July 25,
Saarloos allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two. Street
got his 26th save in 33 chances.

"It was exciting to get the adrenaline going," Saarloos said.
"The starters have been going deep into games and that's good for
the team even though you're not being used. I have been throwing
before games and after games knowing I would be used eventually. I
was fresh but not to the point where I was in a hurry."

Michael Young and DeRosa homered for the Rangers, who lost their
fourth straight.

"We squandered a lot of opportunities," Showalter said.

Eric Chavez helped Saarloos by diving to snare DeRosa's sharply
hit grounder down the line with a runner on second. The Rangers
loaded the bases with two outs, but Saarloos caught Gerald Laird
looking to end the threat.

"You almost get spoiled when Eric is over there," Saarloos
said. "Balls are hit you think for sure are doubles but he's
either in the right position or somehow manages to get to the

Shane Komine, making his second start for the A's, gave up four
runs, six hits and four walks in three innings-plus. Komine allowed
one run on four hits against Toronto in his major league debut on
July 30. He had a 0.42 ERA over his last 42 2-3 innings -- and won
his last six decisions -- at Triple-A Sacramento before being called

Kevin Millwood (10-8) allowed five runs and six hits in six-plus
innings, falling to 7-2 in 12 road starts this year. He lost to the
A's for the first time in six career starts.

"I was all over the place," Millwood said. "It's real
disappointing because we're in the thick of things and we can't get
the job done."

Oakland is 6-6 against the Rangers, the only AL West team it
doesn't have a winning record against.

Young and DeRosa hit two-run homers in the third, but Oakland
rallied in the fourth. Swisher hit his 24th home run of the season,
a three-run drive that just made the first row of the right-field
bleachers, and Payton's homer tied the game. Payton's last eight
home runs have either tied the game or put the A's ahead.

Gary Matthews Jr. jumped and got his glove above the fence in
center field to rob Eric Chavez of a potential three-run homer for
the final out in the first, then made an over-the-shoulder grab of
Swisher's deep drive opening the second.

Game notes
The Rangers' Mark Teixeira walked in the first inning to
extend his streak of reaching base to 32 consecutive games. ...
Swisher set a franchise season record for home runs by a switch
hitter. ... Komine is the third Hawaiian-born player to play for
the A's, joining Ron Darling and Lenn Sakata. ... A's OF Mark
Kotsay missed his second straight game with a sore back. ... Payton
recorded just his third hit in 28 at-bats against Millwood,
extending his hitting streak to 12. ... Kendall recorded his fourth
career unassisted double play on the game-ending play. Tony Pena
has the most (eight) since 1960.