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AL: Practice pays off as Myers lifts A's

©Associated Press
September 22, 2002

OAKLAND, Calif. -- As he always does, Greg Myers took several trips to the batting cage Saturday while the Athletics played Texas.

All those swings had him feeling plenty prepared to pinch hit in the eighth.

The 36-year-old Myers hit a tiebreaking single and Oakland's bullpen pitched 22/3 hitless innings as the A's defeated the Rangers 6-3 to open a two-game lead in the West.

"Really, any time you can help out like that it feels good," said Myers, a reserve catcher and 12th-year major-leaguer. "With this tight race going on, it's nice."

One day after the A's clinched a playoff berth, Myers helped them move closer to winning the division for the second time in three years.

With the score tied at 3 in the eighth, Terrence Long led off with a single off C.J. Nitkowski. Ramon Hernandez sacrificed, Mark Ellis walked and Jay Powell relieved.

Myers hit for Frank Menechino and singled to center on a 1-and-1 changeup, and Miguel Tejada followed with a run-scoring single. Pinch-runner Jose Flores stole third and scored when catcher Todd Greene's throw went into leftfield.

Manager Art Howe was happy to see Myers contribute in an important game. Myers caught Wednesday, just his third start in 35 games. He has become known for his clutch pinch-hitting.

"Greg is a veteran player and he's gotten some big hits for us over the years, but none bigger than today," Howe said.

Myers said he knows that when you don't play much, you still have to be ready.

"It's tough," he said. "You can ask anybody in this clubhouse who doesn't play all the time. You try to stay loose late in a game because you never know when you'll get your chance."

MARINERS 6, ANGELS 4: Troy Glaus' throwing error postponed Anaheim's clinching party by at least one day.

Glaus' miscue led to four unearned runs in the fifth as the visiting Angels were prevented from wrapping up their first playoff berth in 16 years.

"It's a play I know we can make," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I'm not going to say we handed it to them, but we shot ourselves in the foot a little today."

The Angels' magic number to clinch at least the wild card is one, with seven games left.

RED SOX 3, ORIOLES 0: John Burkett allowed two hits in eight innings, and Nomar Garciaparra drove in a run and scored a run as visiting Boston avoided elimination in the wild-card race.

WHITE SOX 14, TWINS 4: Magglio Ordonez homered twice for a career-high 35 on the season and drove in four, and Carlos Lee added a grand slam in the seventh for host Chicago.

ROYALS 3, INDIANS 2: Michael Tucker's two-out single in the ninth scored Chuck Knoblauch with the winning run for host Kansas City.

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