Series: Game 1 of 3

Oakland leads 1-0 (as of 8/6)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 6
Oakland 9Final
Boston 1
Game 2: Wednesday, August 7
Oakland 3Final
Boston 2
Game 3: Thursday, August 8
Oakland 2Final
Boston 4

Athletics 9

(65-48, 29-24 away)

Red Sox 1

(65-46, 28-25 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 6, 2002

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 000032310 9 - -
    BOS 100000000 1 - -

    W: M. Mulder (13-6)

    L: T. Wakefield (5-4)

    A's bats give Mulder plenty of support

    BOSTON (AP) -- Mark Mulder struggled early and Miguel Tejada's hitting streak ended at 24 games. Still, the Oakland Athletics kept winning.

    Doug Mirabelli is too late applying the tag as Oakland's Mark Ellis scores on Miguel Tejada's sacrifice fly. Tejada had his 24-game hit streak snapped.

    Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run homer and Olmedo Saenz added a two-run shot to lead the A's to a 9-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, Oakland's fifth in six games.

    Mulder (13-6) allowed runners in five of six innings but benefited from poor clutch hitting by Boston, which stranded 10 runners against him. The left-hander is 11-2 in his last 14 starts.

    ''After the third inning I started to settle down, relax and not throw so hard,'' he said. ''I might have hit a few guys and walked a few guys but I made my pitches when I had to.''

    Mulder struck out three, allowed four walks and five hits and hit Trot Nixon with two pitches. But after Manny Ramirez's RBI double gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the first, the Red Sox left the bases loaded in the first and fourth.

    ''You can't let a pitcher like that off the hook,'' Boston's Brian Daubach said. ''If we scored some runs early, it might have been different.''

    Tejada went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth and fell one game short of the Oakland record 25-game hitting streak set by Jason Giambi in 1997.

    ''I don't worry about that,'' Tejada said. ''I don't play this game for myself. I knew one day it was going to stop and today was the day.''

    The 24-game streak is the second-longest in the majors this year, behind the 35-game streak of Florida's Luis Castillo. And it's the longest in the AL since Gabe Kapler had a 28-game streak in 2000.

    The A's, whose 45-22 record is the AL's best since May 24, closed within one game of the Red Sox in the wild card race. Anaheim leads Boston by 1 games and Oakland by 2.

    Oakland was 20-26 on May 23 and trailed Seattle by 10 games in the AL West.

    ''If you're going to go to the playoffs it doesn't matter how you start,'' Hernandez said. ''It's how you finish.''

    Tim Wakefield (5-4) gave up two singles in the first four innings before struggling with his knuckleball. He allowed Hernandez's homer in the fifth and Saenz's homer in the sixth, the sixth for each.

    ''I made two bad pitches,'' Wakefield said.

    Oakland added three runs in the seventh without hitting the ball out of the infield with a single, four walks and a hit batsman.

    Cliff Floyd went 0-for-3 with a walk in his Fenway Park debut with the Red Sox after going 7-for-13 in his first four games with Boston.

    ''I never had that much adrenaline. We went to the same high school,'' said Mulder, who was in eighth grade when Floyd was a senior at Thornwood High School in South Holland, Ill.

    The Red Sox led 1-0 through four innings but stranded eight runners in that span, five by Nomar Garciaparra.

    With one out in the first, Nixon singled, took second on Garciaparra's single and scored on Ramirez's ground-rule double. An intentional walk to Shea Hillenbrand loaded the bases with two outs before Doug Mirabelli grounded out.

    Boston loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but Garciaparra popped out.

    Wakefield began the fifth by hitting Jermaine Dye with a pitch and walking Saenz. After Terrence Long struck out, Hernandez homered.

    ''It was a knuckleball,'' Hernandez said. ''I think I got lucky.''

    Wakefield retired the first two batters in the sixth before Dye singled and Saenz homered for a 5-1 lead.

    David Justice had an RBI groundout in the seventh, and reliever Frank Castillo walked in a run and hit Saenz with a pitch to force in another.

    Game notes

    Ramirez's double gave the Red Sox at least one double in 21 of their last 23 games. ... Saenz is 7-for-15 with two homers in his career against Wakefield. ... Hernandez's other five homers were solo shots.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press