Thursday, June 3, 2004

AL: A's win 2nd straight on game-ending HR

The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. - Mark Kotsay needed two months to hit his first home run for his new team. With Oakland home-run leader Eric Chavez sidelined for at least six weeks, the timing was perfect.

Kotsay hit Oakland's second straight game-ending home run, a 10th-inning drive Wednesday that gave the Athletics a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

"It was a good time for a first one," Kotsay said. "It was worth the wait."

A day after Bobby Kielty's 12th-inning homer beat Chicago 6-4, Kotsay pinch hit for Kielty in the eighth inning.

In the 10th against Jon Adkins (2-2), Kotsay homered for the first time since last Sept. 19 against Colorado. Kotsay had not homered in his previous 51 games and 206 at-bats.

It was the first time Oakland got consecutive game-ending homers since Dwayne Murphy and Mike Heath did it on Aug. 14 and 15, 1981. Kotsay had one previous game-ending homer, against the New York Mets on June 30, 1999.

"I'm not that type of player who's flashy or does spectacular things, but over the course of 162 games you might say, 'He helped the team,' " Kotsay said. "If you come here one night, you might think I'm the worst player in the big leagues. If you come here every night, you might think otherwise."

Yankees 6, Orioles 5

NEW YORK - Gary Sheffield and Derek Jeter homered, and Ruben Sierra hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly to rally New York.

Baltimore burst ahead with a five-run first inning, knocking out Jose Contreras just two outs into the game. But the Yankees' bullpen, led by Tanyon Sturtze, held the Orioles scoreless the rest of the way.

Rangers 5, Indians 3

CLEVELAND - Gary Matthews Jr. homered off Rafael Betancourt (2-4) leading off the ninth inning and Hank Blalock connected with two outs as Texas completed a two-game sweep. It was Matthews' first homer since Aug. 26 of last season for San Diego.

Carlos Almanzar (5-0) won despite giving up Casey Blake's tying single in the eighth. Francisco Cordero walked two in the ninth before getting his 18th save in 18 tries, a team record.

Tigers 2, Royals 0

DETROIT - Jason Johnson pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and last-minute replacement Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer to lead Detroit. Inge played after catcher Ivan Rodriguez was pulled from the starting lineup because of inflammation in his right wrist.

Johnson (4-6) worked around nine hits in 7 2-3 innings. He walked none and struck out three.

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