Melhuse hits first career grand slam

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Adam Melhuse was just the latest member
of the surging Athletics to have himself a big game.

Melhuse contributed a grand slam and five RBI to Oakland's
record-setting offensive output and Mark Kotsay went 4-for-4 to
lead the Athletics to a 13-3 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday for a
three-game sweep.

"Earlier in the year, runs were hard to come by and we were
relying on our pitching," Melhuse said. "Now it seems like we're
all clicking. When guys are getting all those hits you want one
yourself. It makes you focus in a little more."

The Athletics have scored a major-league leading 95 runs in
June, including 79 in the past seven games. The A's have also set
an Oakland record with 104 hits in that span.

"This is one hot ballclub," said Pirates manager Lloyd
McClendon. "They beat us up pretty good. We scored a lot of runs
but we're not getting anywhere."

Scott Hatteberg homered and drove in three runs, extending his
career-best hitting streak to 14 games. Oakland has won eight
straight, its longest winning streak since last Aug. 23 to Sept. 2,
and 11 of its last 12 to surge into the AL West lead.

Oakland has won 10 of 11 games without star third baseman Eric
Chavez, out with a broken bone in his right hand.

"It's amazing and it's been a team effort," Hatteberg said.
"We can't wait to get him back. It just seems like we've all found
a good groove."

Eric Byrnes hit his third homer in two days and drove in three
runs as the A's maintained the best record (81-47) in interleague
play, including an 18-0 mark against the NL Central.

"Chavey is still the biggest part of this team," said A's
pitcher Mark Mulder, who won his sixth straight decision. "He's
our No. 3 hitter and our best defensive player. This is huge to be
doing this without him. Everybody has taken it upon themselves to
step it up a bit with Chavez hurt. It seems like it's someone
different every day."

Jermaine Dye and Erubiel Durazo also had three hits each for

Pittsburgh has an ERA of 8.32 (61 runs in 66 innings) during the
losing streak.

Oakland, which had 18 hits, has scored 10 or more runs in five
of its last six games, and has 14 homers in that span. The A's won
11 games on a homestand for the first time since 1959 -- when they
were based in Kansas City.

"I don't think I've seen anything quite like it," Pirates
starter Kip Wells said. "They get two guys on and suddenly they
have a big inning."

Craig Wilson and Daryle Ward homered for the Pirates, who have
lost 13 of 14, dropping eight straight for the first time since
losing nine straight Sept. 9-17, 2000.

"We're on such a bad streak we just need to get away from
here," said outfielder Rob Mackowiak, who left with a bruised left
shoulder in the fourth. "We haven't done anything well on this
road trip."

Mulder (8-2) allowed four hits in eight innings, striking out
seven and walking two.

Wells didn't get out of the fifth inning for the second straight
start. He gave up eight runs and 11 hits, both season highs, in 4
1-3 innings.

Melhuse also drove in Oakland's first run in the second on Jose
Castillo's fielding error, and hit his first career slam in a
six-run fifth that also included run-scoring singles by Hatteberg
and Kotsay, who singled twice in the inning.

Marco Scutaro singled in the second to extend his hitting streak
to 10 games.

Game notes
Former A's All-Star 3B Carney Lansford threw out the
ceremonial first pitch. ... Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie
Robinson, was in attendance to promote the D.A.R.E. program, and
her book "Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America."
... Melhuse's slam was the third by the A's in six games. Only the
A's and the San Francisco Giants have hit three grand slams as a
team. ... Pirates starters are 0-8 in the last 14 games.