Mulder allowed three hits in eight innings to win his fifth straight start, pitching the Oakland Athletics past the Yankees 5-2 Sunday. "I'm going to go after everybody,'' said Mulder, who improved to 2-4 against the Yankees, the only team he has a losing record against. "It's like, 'Here it is, put it in play.' I'm going to throw strikes and try to get quick outs.'' Mulder (6-1) gave up two runs, walked two and struck out a season-high eight. He came within an inning of throwing his fourth straight complete game. Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 opportunities. "When you get runs early in the game it lets you settle down and thrown your game,'' Mulder said. "Things went our way this time.'' Miguel Tejada, Ron Gant and Eric Byrnes homered for the A's, who
took two of three from New York for the second straight weekend.
Oakland (23-14) is off to its best start since going 25-12 on the
way to the AL West title in 1990. "All six games against them have been great baseball games,''
A's manager Ken Macha said. "Either team could have won any of
them. It was a lot of little things that added up.'' Enrique Wilson homered for the Yankees, who lost their first
road series of the season. "We're a good team and they're a very good team and I think our
ballclubs match up well,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Mulder
was very sharp. We're not easy to pitch to but he attacked us. He
did a heck of a job.'' Yankees starter Andy Pettitte (4-3) matched his career high by allowing three home runs. He gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings and has lost three of his last four starts. "It was another frustrating day,'' Pettitte said. "It's a bad
trip any time I take the mound out here on the West Coast.'' The Yankees scored their first run on an unconventional play.
Alfonso Soriano singled and advanced to third when Nick Johnson
singled. With two outs, Mulder's 1-1 pitch to Hideki Matsui bounced away from Ramon Hernandez and Johnson took off for second. Hernandez
retrieved the ball and fired to second. Johnson stopped in the
basepaths while Soriano broke for home. Soriano beat Tejada's relay
home, and Johnson advanced to second. Erubiel Durazo singled home a run in the first, and Gant's first
home run of the season, a solo shot that reached the second deck of
the left field bleachers in the second, put the A's up, 2-1. Tejada, last year's AL MVP, hit his eighth home run of the
season, a two-out shot in the fifth, to give the A's a 3-1 lead.
Tejada, 14-for-41 in his last 11 games, finished the game over .200
for the first time since April 14. Mulder retired 15 straight before Wilson led off the sixth with
his first home run of the season to cut the lead to 3-2. Byrnes ended Pettitte's day with a two-run homer in the seventh. "Byrnes has definitely impacted a lot of games,'' Macha said.
"He's seized the opportunity.'' The A's had a chance to break it open in the third when they
loaded the bases with one out. Pettitte went 3-0 on Hernandez, but
came back to strike him out, then retire Adam Piatt on a groundout. The Yankees had runners on first and second with one out in the
sixth but Mulder got Raul Mondesi on a flyout and struck out
Yankees 1B Jason Giambi sat out his second straight game
because of inflammation in his left eye. ... A's 1B Scott Hatteberg
took the day off to rest a sore ankle. ... SS Derek Jeter and bench
coach Don Zimmer are both scheduled to return to the team when the
Yankees open a homestand against Anaheim on Tuesday. ... A's 3B
Eric Chavez missed the game with swelling in his left hand, the
result of getting hit by a line drive on Saturday. ... Gant's home
run was career No. 321. ... Soriano snapped an 0-for-20 streak
against the A's with his first-inning hit. ... A's LHP Micah Bowie
was recalled from Sacramento before the game. RHP Jeremy Fikac was
optioned to Sacramento.