Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Oakland leads 1-0 (as of 4/25)

Game 1: Friday, April 25
Cleveland2Final
Oakland5
Game 2: Saturday, April 26
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Oakland6
Game 3: Sunday, April 27
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Oakland4

Indians 2

(7-16, 4-9 away)

Athletics 5

(13-10, 10-3 home)

    10:05 PM ET, April 25, 2003

    O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 001000100 2 6 1
    OAK 12000011 - 5 11 0

    W: T. Lilly (2-0)

    L: J. Davis (2-3)

    S: K. Foulke (5)

    Ellis finishes 3-for-4 with a home run

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland's hitters keep saying how determined they are to take some pressure off their pitchers and start producing.

    Their bats finally came through Friday night.

    Mark Ellis went 3-for-4 with a home run as the Athletics backed up a strong start by Ted Lilly, defeating the Cleveland Indians 5-2.

    Ellis homered in the first, singled in the fifth and doubled in the seventh. He also scored two runs as the Oakland offense showed signs of waking up.

    "We're anxious," Ellis said. "It's about time we got going. We had our little lull but we've got to help our pitchers. You don't want to put all that pressure on your pitching staff. They can't throw a shutout every time. We've got to score some runs."

    Eric Chavez, Ramon Hernandez and Chris Singleton each had two hits, and Singleton stopped an 0-for-7 slump with his second-inning single. Hernandez continued his strong play at the plate with an eighth-inning homer.

    Lilly (2-0) made one of his most effective starts of the year in his fifth appearance. He hadn't won since beating Anaheim in his first outing on April 4.

    He retired seven of his first nine batters before a two-out solo homer by Casey Blake in the third. The Indians have lost four straight on their current 10-game road trip, including getting swept in Seattle. Cleveland has lost the last six meetings against Oakland.

    Lilly allowed six hits and two runs, striking out two and walking one. He kept his pitch count down by getting ahead in the count. In his last start Sunday against Texas, he threw 96 pitches in 5 2-3 innings. This time, he made only 88 pitches.

    "I used my sinker to get more groundballs," said Lilly, who had no decisions in his past three starts, all A's losses. "Ideally, that's the way I'd like to pitch."

    Shane Spencer also homered off his former New York Yankees teammate, sending a 1-2 pitch over the wall in the seventh.

    Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.

    Ellis hit a 2-1 pitch from Jason Davis (2-3) over the fence in left field to lead off the first inning, and Oakland got good contributions from the top and bottom of the batting order.

    "You go out and play as a team and try to make it all happen together," Singleton said.

    Hernandez, whose success at the plate caused manager Ken Macha to move him up two spots to sixth in the order, singled and scored on an RBI single by Eric Byrnes in the second.

    Byrnes started in left because Terrence Long moved to right to replace Jermaine Dye, who injured his knee when he slipped fielding a ball Thursday. Byrnes has shown he is steady with his bat and has also made some athletic plays in the outfield. He ran down a hard-hit ball by Omar Vizquel in the third, making the catch against the wall.

    Davis gave up four runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.

    "I felt pretty good out there," he said. "I have to learn to be more aggressive early. I felt like I didn't do my part to keep my team in the game. When you give up three runs early that kind of puts the team on their heels."

    Blake, who also had a first-inning single, homered for the second straight game. He hit a two-run shot in the first inning of the Indians' 4-2 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

    AL MVP Miguel Tejada, 1-for-14 in his previous three games, went 0-for-3 with an intentional walk. Macha said before the game he has considered holding the star shortstop out of a game to regroup, though Tejada has insisted that's not the answer for him to get out of his offensive funk.

    Tejada started his 455th straight game, the longest active streak in the majors. Macha said he would be in the lineup Saturday.

    "He hit the ball extremely hard with runners on first and third," Macha said. "He just needs to find a hole now. I think he has an idea of what (pitchers) want to do with him and what they are doing to him."

    Game notes
    Ellis hit his first career leadoff homer. ... Alejandro Martinez, 25, from Vallejo, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He was chosen because he jumped into the water of the Mare Island Strait to rescue a 3-year-old boy who was allegedly thrown over the seawall by his mother April 17. Martinez, who can't swim, helped save the toddler with the help of his wife. ... Davis faced Oakland for the first time in his career. ... The game lasted 2 hours and 4 minutes, Oakland's quickest game since a 2-hour game with Seattle on Sept. 29, 1996. The A's beat Detroit 2-0 in 2 hours, 6 minutes, on Thursday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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