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A's pull out 17th straight win

©Associated Press
September 1, 2002

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Athletics extended the majors' longest winning streak in 49 years to 17 games Saturday night, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-3 behind four RBIs from Eric Chavez.

Chavez hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth for the A's, who have the longest winning streak since the 1953 Yankees won 18 in a row. The 17 consecutive wins matched a franchise record set in 1931.

Oakland's bullpen wasted another excellent start by Cory Lidle, who allowed his first earned run in August and left in the eighth to a standing ovation with a 3-1 lead.

Dustan Mohr hit a pinch-hit home run in the eighth and Torii Hunter tied the score with a single off Jim Mecir in the inning.

Chavez, who homered in the seventh and had three hits, came up with the bases loaded after Minnesota reliever J.C. Romero intentionally walked Miguel Tejada.

Chavez shattered his bat on Romero's first pitch, but the ball got past Luis Rivas into centerfield, driving in two.

Billy Koch worked the ninth for his career-high 37th save in 42 opportunities. Koch's 11 saves in August set an Oakland record.

When Lidle left with a wave of his cap, the winning streak seemed safe. But left-hander Ricardo Rincon, who had allowed one run since joining the team in July, entered and immediately gave up Mohr's home run.

After the Twins put two more runners on, Mecir relieved Rincon. Mecir struck out Matthew LeCroy looking and got two strikes on Hunter before the All-Star lined a single to left-center to drive in Cristian Guzman.

Oakland finished 24-4 in August, and Lidle got five of those wins. The right-hander allowed four hits in 71/3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk.

BLUE JAYS 5, YANKEES 1: Justin Miller was especially proud because it was New York he held to three hits.

Miller, Cliff Politte and Kelvim Escobar combined on a three-hitter for host Toronto.

Miller, facing the Yankees for the first time, allowed only Derek Jeter's single to left in the first, Raul Mondesi's bloop double to center in the fifth and John Vander Wal's infield single in the fifth.

INDIANS 8, RED SOX 7: Johnny Damon committed his first error in 250 games, allowing Bill Selby to score from first on Omar Vizquel's double for host Cleveland.

Selby hit a pinch single with one out in the ninth and Milton Bradley popped a bunt to first baseman Brian Daubach before Vizquel's hit off Bobby Howry. Damon, the centerfielder, went to his right to cut off the ball, which bounced off his glove.

ROYALS 4, MARINERS 2: Kit Pellow hit a tiebreaking run-scoring single off closer Kazuhiro Sasaki with two outs in the ninth for visiting Kansas City.

With two out in the ninth, Neifi Perez walked and Luis Ordaz singled. Sasaki came in and gave up a single to Pellow, scoring Perez from second. Carlos Beltran followed with a run-scoring single.

ANGELS 9, ORIOLES 0: Ramon Ortiz retired his first 16 batters and pitched a five-hitter for his first shutout for host Anaheim.

For the second night in a row, Baltimore rookie Geronimo Gil singled to the opposite field with one out in the sixth to spoil a no-hit bid.

WHITE SOX 9, TIGERS 4: Joe Crede hit his fourth home run in as many games, capping a five-run first as visiting Chicago won for the sixth time in eight games and handed Detroit its third loss in a row.

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