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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.