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Saarloos fans 11, Kielty smacks GS as A's trip Tribe

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bobby Kielty assured manager Ken Macha
several days ago that his tender left hand would be fine come
Tuesday to face Cleveland lefty Cliff Lee.

A shot of cortisone and Kielty was pain-free.

Kielty hit his first career grand slam, Kirk Saarloos struck out
a career-high 11 and Eric Chavez and Nick Swisher also homered in
the Oakland Athletics' 7-3 victory over the Indians on Tuesday
night.

Kielty homered off Lee with two outs in the sixth, a drive to
left that gave the AL West-leading A's a 5-2 lead. The crowd of
15,866 went wild, and Kielty emerged from the dugout for a curtain
call.

He will have some offseason bragging rights when he hangs out
with Lee, too. Kielty's wife, Meredith, grew up best friends in
Arkansas with Lee's wife, Kristen, and the couples get together at
least once during the winter.

Oakland stayed 6½ games ahead of Los Angeles in the division
race after the Angels won 5-2 at Kansas City. The A's decreased
their magic number to clinch the West to six.

Kielty, who aggravated his hand on a swing last week at
Minnesota, hadn't been summoned back out of the dugout since it
happened in back-to-back games late in the 2002 season while with
Minnesota. Kielty had begun to wonder whether he would ever hit a
grand slam.

"It's been on my mind quite a bit this year," he said. "I
haven't had a lot of success with the bases loaded. Maybe that
grand slam will help me."

Chavez hit a solo homer with two outs in the fourth, his 20th of
the year and No. 210 of his career. That moved the third baseman
past Al Simmons for sixth place on the A's list. Chavez, who has
been dealing with tendinitis in his forearms, had been 1-for-16 in
his prior five games.

Swisher hit a two-run shot in the eighth for his 32nd homer of
the year.

Oakland fell behind in the first inning for the second straight
night. The A's lost Monday night's series opener 7-2 after a rocky
showing from Dan Haren, ending the team's four-game winning streak.

Saarloos, pitching on six days' rest, gave up three hits but got
out of the inning only down 1-0 on Kevin Kouzmanoff's RBI single.
He struck out three.

"I've got it in me," the typical groundball pitcher said of
striking out batters. "But it's not economical."

Saarloos threw 113 pitches.

Hector Luna singled in a run in the third to make it 2-0.
Kouzmanoff singled in another run against closer Huston Street in
the ninth for his third hit.

Saarloos is winless in three starts following four straight
winning outings, including in relief Aug. 8 against Texas. When he
struck out Shin-Soo Choo to end the third, Saarloos had already
tied his previous career best of seven.

He allowed two runs on eight hits and walked four in five
innings. Chad Gaudin (2-2) pitched the sixth for the win.

Macha is counting on Esteban Loaiza working deep into the game
Wednesday considering Rich Harden will make his first start since
June 4 in Thursday's series finale and be on a pitch count of about
60.

Lee (12-11) retired the first eight A's batters before Marco
Scutaro's two-out single in the third. Oakland then loaded the
bases after consecutive walks to Jason Kendall and Mark Ellis, but
Milton Bradley grounded into a fielder's choice.

Lee hadn't started against the A's since May 27, 2004, and he
lost to Oakland for the first time in four career starts. The lefty
retired the side in order in the first on 11 pitches.

In the decisive sixth, Lee walked Frank Thomas with one out then
allowed a single to Jay Payton before Chavez flied out. Nick
Swisher was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Kielty. The A's
are 21-3 in games in which Kielty has homered over the past three
seasons.

The A's had only four putouts through five innings, and the
Indians stranded 10 runners during that stretch.

"I don't think anybody should be striking out 17 times,"
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "That's us not making
adjustments, not sticking our nose in there with two strikes."

Game notes
Saarloos had five strikeouts against the Indians on May 4,
his previous season best. ... Choo struck out in his first three
at-bats. ... Chavez reached 20 home runs for the seventh straight
season. ... Grady Sizemore played DH for Cleveland instead of CF to
give him a little time off his feet after so many games in the
outfield. "He probably won't know what to do with himself,"
manager Eric Wedge said. Franklin Gutierrez started in center. ...
A's CF Mark Kotsay, who has been playing with back spasms in recent
weeks, had the night off to rest and was expected to play again
Wednesday. Payton moved to CF to start in his place and Kielty
played LF in just his third start in 14 games.