Series: Game 3 of 3

Oakland won 3-0

Game 1: Tuesday, June 29
Game 2: Wednesday, June 30
Game 3: Thursday, July 1

Angels 3

(41-37, 19-21 away)

Athletics 7

(44-33, 27-12 home)

    3:35 PM ET, July 1, 2004 Coliseum, Oakland, California 

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    OAK 00110401 - 7 12 0

    W: K. Saarloos (1-0)

    L: J. Washburn (8-4)

    Oakland hits five homers, downplays sweep

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics refuse to get too excited about sweeping Anaheim at this point in the season -- even though the Angels took three straight here back in April when the A's were at full strength.

    Damian Miller hit two of Oakland's five home runs, and the A's completed a three-game sweep of their division rival with a 7-3 victory Thursday.

    "It's nice to sweep them, but it's July 1," Miller said.

    And Oakland is still in second place, a half-game behind Texas after the Rangers lost 8-4 to the Mariners in Seattle.

    Kirk Saarloos (1-0) pitched five-plus shutout innings in a spot start, receiving a standing ovation when he left following back-to-back singles by Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero.

    Saarloos was 0-5 in his previous 10 major league starts and hadn't won a start since Aug. 25, 2002, when he beat Cincinnati while with the Astros. He has two relief wins since.

    "Back in Houston my starting wasn't very good," said Saarloos, who isn't sure how long he'll stay with the big league club. "To get this win in my first start here is pretty good. I didn't have spring training with them. This is the first extended look they've had at me."

    Bobby Crosby, Jermaine Dye and Bobby Kielty also homered for Oakland, which has won six of eight heading into its final interleague series this weekend against the San Francisco Giants.

    After Anaheim scored three runs in the seventh against Justin Lehr, Ricardo Rincon, Chad Bradford and Octavio Dotel finished up.

    Kielty, playing for the first time since he was scratched Sunday with a ribcage injury, also made two impressive plays in left field. Adam Kennedy singled in the fifth and was going for second, but Kielty threw him out. In the sixth, Kielty ran down a shallow fly to left-center by Garret Anderson and skidded on his knees to make the tough catch.

    Jarrod Washburn (8-4) failed to win for the seventh time in eight starts following a six-start winning streak. Jose Molina hit a solo homer and Kennedy matched his career high with four hits for the Angels, who lost their fourth straight game and sixth in eight.

    Anaheim stranded 14 baserunners, including nine by Robb Quinlan. That frustrated manager Mike Scioscia, who called a team meeting after Wednesday's 4-2 loss.

    "Our numbers with runners in scoring position have been soft for quite some time," Scioscia said. "You just have to keep perspective. Every team has gone through a tough spell."

    Washburn, who beat the A's in back-to-back April starts, allowed six runs -- all on homers -- and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first when he got Crosby to ground into an inning-ending double play.

    "I'm a fly ball pitcher and aggressive, so there's always going to be home runs," Washburn said. "Every homer today was on a bad pitch. ... This is a little long for us. We haven't played very good baseball for some time now and we can't afford to play like this for very much longer."

    Saarloos, who allowed five hits, retired seven straight after David Eckstein's leadoff single in the first before Kennedy doubled in the third. The right-hander was called up Sunday from Triple-A Sacramento to help the ailing A's, who have five players on the disabled list.

    Saarloos, 25, was acquired from Houston on April 16 for Chad Harville and assigned to Sacramento. He was 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA in two starts at Triple-A New Orleans and 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four outings for Sacramento.

    Kielty, still unable to bat left-handed, hit a 3-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers in the third for his sixth homer of the year. Crosby connected an inning later, sending his 11th homer deep to center.

    Dye hit his team-leading 16th homer in the sixth, a two-run shot and the first of his career against Washburn. Dye is batting .448 (13-for-29) against Washburn.

    Miller connected for his sixth homer three batters later, also driving in two runs. He added a solo shot in the eighth for his fourth career multihomer game and first since April 11, 2002, with Arizona at Colorado.

    Anaheim left Oakland with a three-game sweep April 23-25, but now the A's lead the season series 7-6. The teams, considered the favorites to win the division when the year began, don't play again until Sept. 24-26.

    Game notes

    Angels DH Tim Salmon missed his second straight game with the flu. ... Dye has 18 homers and 47 RBI in his career against Anaheim. ... Angels 1B Darin Erstad was a late scratch with irritation of the knuckle on his right middle finger. ... Kennedy had his second four-hit game this year. ... Washburn pitched 15 straight scoreless innings before Kielty's homer.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press