OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Terrence Long arrived at his locker to
find six 20-ounce bottles of Gatorade on his clubhouse chair -- and
he promised to drink them all.
"Somebody's playing a joke," the Oakland outfielder said. "I
guess they're telling me I need that."
Long's inside-the-park homer capped a five-run eighth inning to
lead Tim Hudson and the Athletics to a 7-2 victory over the New
York Yankees on Friday night.
The defending AL West champion A's took two of three games last
week at Yankee Stadium and have won 11 of 14 to improve to a
season-best nine games over .500.
Luckily, whoever left the sports drinks for Long chose his
favorite flavor, Lemon Lime. He had never hit an inside-the-park
homer in his life.
"I'm going to drink them, all six," he said. "I was tired. I
gave out halfway from third to home. Somebody got on my back and I
don't know who it was."
Oakland spoiled a solid outing by Yankees starter Jeff Weaver
(2-2), who allowed two runs in seven innings before falling apart
in the eighth.
"They just outlasted us," Weaver said. "Hudson threw a heck
of a game. I didn't get the job done tonight. I felt good all eight
innings. I just couldn't get that third out."
Mark Ellis led off the eighth with a single and went to second
on Scott Hatteberg's sacrifice bunt. Hatteberg had to be reminded
by Eric Chavez on the bunt sign because the A's do it so rarely; it
was just their sixth of the year.
Long then hit a sinking liner to center field against Chris
Hammond. Bernie Williams charged and made a diving attempt, but the
ball went by him and rolled all the way to the wall.
Long, who jogged out of the batter's box, turned it on after the
ball got by Williams and easily beat the relay home.
"I had to take a gamble," Williams said. "I can't let that
ball fall in front of me with two outs."
Hudson (3-1) allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings to
beat the Yankees for the first time in six regular season starts.
He'd had three straight no-decisions, with his last win was April
16 against the Mariners.
"It's been a while. I waited three weeks for one," Hudson
said. "I was definitely ready to get a decision, win or loss. The
way it was going, I would have taken the loss."
The Yankees will face all three this weekend, including a
showdown between the last two AL Cy Young winners when 2002 winner
Zito takes on Roger Clemens on Saturday. Zito beat Clemens 2-0 last
Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
"It's going to be a joy to watch," Hudson said. "I'm glad I
got a win so I can enjoy it a little more. If I was stuck at 2-1
right now it wouldn't be too fun for me."
Jason Giambi, who's battling a sore left knee and staph
infections in both eyes, hit a towering, two-run homer in the
fourth off Hudson that landed above the scoreboard in left field
and tied the game at 2.
The slugger didn't seem distracted by his ailments or the
unfriendly welcome from the Coliseum crowd of 40,317 that used to
root for him. Giambi was booed before batting practice even began
and then every time he stepped into the batter's box. He returned
to Oakland for the second time since signing a $120 million,
seven-year contract with the Yankees after the 2001 season.
Giambi's homer also scored Nick Johnson, who had walked. Johnson
has been playing first base and Giambi relegated to the designated
hitter role until he gets healthy.
"I ended up getting a pitch to hit from Huddy I could handle
and other than that he threw a beautiful game," Giambi said.
"That one inning got away from us. I love hitting at this stadium.
I spent a lot of time here."
Hideki Matsui had two infield singles to extend his hitting
streak to 10 games but the Yankees couldn't generate near the
offense they had in a 16-5 win in Seattle on Thursday.
Eric Byrnes, the A's sparkplug lately as an outfield fill-in
with Jermaine Dye on the disabled list, hit a run-scoring triple in
the third for a 1-0 lead and then scored on Chris Singleton's
Weaver allowed six runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings.
Demoted Yankees RHP Jose Contreras pitched five innings for
Triple-A Columbus, facing 19 batters. He threw 62 pitches, 45 for
strikes. ... The Yankees' starting rotation has gone unchanged for
35 games, the longest streak in team history and most since New
York went 25 games with the same starting pitchers in 1988,
according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The A's have lost the
season series to the Yankees in six of the last seven seasons. ...
Long's homer was the first inside-the-park homer for the A's since
Chavez did it against Clemens in New York on Aug. 8, 2000. ... New
York has hit 58 homers through the first 35 games, second in the
majors behind Texas. ... The A's have homered in nine straight