"I knew Mulder could finish," Dotel said with a laugh. "But I
need some work, too."
Mulder pitched three-hit ball into the ninth inning Sunday to
become the first 13-game winner in the majors, and Bobby Crosby's
two-run homer sent the Oakland Athletics to a 5-3 victory over the
Chicago White Sox.
Mulder (13-2) won his 11th consecutive decision, outpitching
Esteban Loaiza in a matchup of All-Stars. The left-hander struck
out eight, walked two and hasn't lost in 14 starts since April 28.
"It just seems everything is going right for me. The best way
to describe it is getting just enough runs. On days we score a
handful of runs, I don't pitch well. When I pitch well, we win
2-1," Mulder said.
Looking for an outfielder with some pop, the White Sox acquired
switch-hitter Carl Everett from Montreal for minor league pitchers
Jon Rauch and Gary Majewski earlier in the day.
Jermaine Dye's second double of the game drove in Eric Chavez
from first base in the sixth. Two outs later, Crosby connected off
Loaiza (8-5) for his 12th homer of the season. The ball glanced off
the glove of center fielder Aaron Rowand and over the fence, giving
Oakland a 4-3 lead.
"When my body hit the wall it jarred my glove a little bit and
hit off the back of my glove," Rowand said. "I thought I should
have caught it."
Crosby, a shortstop who leads AL rookies in homers, struck out
and grounded into a double play in his first two at-bats.
The Athletics added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI
single by Damian Miller.
Mulder, who didn't allow a homer in his previous five starts,
gave up a two-run shot to Jose Valentin and a solo drive to Rowand
in falling behind 3-1. But the winning pitcher in the All-Star game
regained his composure and improved to 7-0 in 10 starts at home.
He's also 6-0 in day games.
"He's awesome. He's probably the best," Crosby said.
Mulder left after 8 1-3 innings. Dotel struck out Magglio
Ordonez and Paul Konerko for his fifth save in seven chances with
Loaiza gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings for the
White Sox, who dropped to 2-16 in Oakland since 2001.
"They have to move the A's anyplace," Chicago manager Ozzie
Guillen said. "Move this team out of here."
The A's left the bases loaded in the first when Loaiza shattered
Durazo's bat for the third out on a grounder to shortstop.
Carlos Lee reached third for the White Sox with one out in the
second inning on a walk, a wild pitch and a stolen base. But Lee
was thrown out at the plate on a one-hopper to third baseman Chavez
with the infield playing in.
After Valentin homered in the third, Dye's two-out RBI double
cut it to 2-1 in the bottom half. Rowand connected on an 0-2 pitch
leading off the sixth, but that was all Chicago could manage.
"We faced one of the best left-handers in the game and we
couldn't get it done," Guillen said.
The acquisition of Everett will keep Ordonez as the
designated hitter, according to Guillen. Ordonez, slowed by a sore
knee, said he preferred to play right field. ... To make room for
Everett, outfielder Joe Borchard, who played quarterback at
Stanford, was sent down to Triple-A Charlotte. ... Oakland reliever
Chris Hammond, who hasn't pitched in more than a month because of a
strained shoulder, came out of a throwing session in good shape,
according to trainer Larry Davis. The left-hander should appear
next in a minor league rehabilitation assignment. ... Chicago RHP
Mike Jackson made his 988th appearance, moving him into ninth place
on the career list.