<
>

Chavez, Kotsay each drive in four to lift Oakland

ATLANTA (AP) -- Eric Chavez stepped up with a pep talk on the
team bus Thursday after the Oakland Athletics finished another road
series loss.

Chavez stepped up again Sunday, this time to make sure the
Athletics won a road series.

Chavez was 5-for-5 with a pair of homers and four RBI, helping
the A's beat the Atlanta Braves 11-5 for their first road series
win since the opening week of the season.

The A's brought an 11-game road losing streak to Atlanta, but
Chavez hit a two-run homer as Oakland ended the drought with a 6-4
win Friday night. He added his first five-hit game Sunday.

Chavez downplayed the possible effect of his talk on the team
bus after the A's lost three straight games at Washington.

"You take responsibility and hopefully they respond," he said.
"I don't know if that had anything to do with it. Hopefully
everybody does what they have to do to get prepared. I don't know
what it is on the road. It just doesn't add up. I don't think we're
that bad of a team."

Even with the two wins in Atlanta, the A's are 10-24 on the
road, better than only Tampa Bay. The A's had not won a series on
the road since taking two of three at Baltimore to open the season.

Mark Kotsay also drove in four runs for Oakland. His three-run
homer in a six-run seventh inning helped the A's put away the game
and send the Braves to their fifth straight series loss.

"We haven't had much success on the road," Kotsay said.
"Winning any series is a positive. Let's hope it carries over."

Andruw Jones hit a two-run homer for Atlanta, giving him three
homers in two days, but Chavez was the star of the weekend.

"It's good to see Chavez back," Oakland pitcher Barry Zito
said. "He's the leader of this offense. When he starts hitting,
it's contagious. We look to him for a spark, and he gives it to
us."

Chavez gave the A's a 1-0 lead with a first-inning double. He
singled in the third, hit a two-run homer in the fifth, a leadoff
shot in the seventh, and added a single in the eighth for his
career-best fifth hit.

"He was a tough out," Braves starter Horacio Ramirez said.
"We made adjustments, pitched him away. He's a great hitter."

Zito (3-7) gave up four hits and four runs -- three earned -- and
walked six in five innings.

Ramirez also was wild, issuing leadoff walks in each of the
first three innings and a one-out pass in the fourth inning.

Ramirez gave up three runs in the fifth. Jason Kendall led off
with a double and scored on Bobby Kielty's single to left. Chavez
followed with his ninth homer, a two-run shot to left, for a 4-2
lead.

The Braves answered in the bottom of the fifth with Jones'
two-run homer that drove in Julio Franco, who walked. Jones' 15th
homer was immediately followed by a 29-minute rain delay.

Ramirez gave up five hits and four runs in five innings and
didn't return after the rain delay.

Making his major league debut, Blaine Boyer, 23, gave up a
leadoff single to Nick Swisher in the sixth. Boyer (0-1) walked
Kendall and gave up a run-scoring double to Kotsay, giving the A's
a 5-4 lead.

Boyer was called up from Double-A Mississippi as reliever Roman
Colon was sent to the Double A team Sunday.

After the game, the Braves made another move, sending rookie
catcher Bryan Pena to Triple-A Richmond and calling up pitcher
Jorge Vazquez from Mississippi.

The A's scored six runs on five hits off Adam Bernero in the
seventh, sparked by homers from Kotsay and Chavez. Marco Scutaro
added a two-run single.

Andy Marte led off the eighth with a single and scored on a
sacrifice fly by fellow rookie Ryan Langerhans.

Game notes
Chavez had the 12th multihomer game of his career. ...
Kotsay had Oakland's only other five-hit game this season on April
30 against Seattle. ... Braves outfielders Langerhans and Jones
made diving catches in the second and sixth innings, respectively.
Jones' catch ended the sixth with runners on second and third.