OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- John Halama knew he had a no-hitter going
but didn't want to spend any time thinking about it.
Halama held Cleveland hitless until the seventh inning and
Erubiel Durazo hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly to lead the Oakland
Athletics over the Indians 6-3 Saturday. Brandon Phillips singled with one out in the seventh for the
Indians' first hit. Halama carried a no-hit bid deeper than any
major league pitcher this season. "Why waste a thought process on something you have no control
over?'' said Halama. "When I went out for the seventh I still had
nine outs left. I'm just thinking about throwing the ball over the
plate and getting guys out.'' Halama, however, did not get the decision. He was gone by the
time the A's scored the go-ahead in the seventh off Terry
Mulholland (0-1). Scott Hatteberg singled and went to third when catcher Tim Laker
threw the ball away at second on Miguel Tejada's tapper. Reliever
Carl Sadler struck out Eric Chavez, then gave up Durazo's sacrifice
fly. "I thought that was a poor decision by Tim,'' said Indians
manager Eric Wedge. "He got really aggressive there and that play
really hurt us.'' The Indians lost their season-high fifth in a row. Chad Bradford (2-2) got the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven
opportunities. Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook allowed three runs over seven
innings as the Indians matched their worst start since 1979 at
7-17. "Their lineup is so good it's frustrating when you pitch well
and they still hit the ball,'' said Westbrook. Halama, who threw the first nine-inning perfect game in Pacific
Coast League history in 2001, used 97 pitches to get through the
first 6 1-3 innings. He struck out four and recorded 10 outs on
grounders. "I was surprised by my control,'' said Halama. "I hadn't
pitched for nine days. It's hard but it's part of my job. It was a
matter of everything going right.'' He left the game to a standing ovation after giving up
consecutive hits in the seventh. Halama's previous longest outing of the season came when he went
5 2-3 innings in a victory over the Anaheim Angels on April 5. "Halama did an outstanding job,'' said A's manager Ken Macha.
"It's too bad he didn't get the win for how well he pitched.'' The A's broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs in the sixth. Eric
Byrnes singled home one run and Chris Singleton, who had three
hits, followed with an RBI double. Halama walked John McDonald to lead off the third. The Indians
scored an unearned run when Karim Garcia's grounder to first base
was mishandled by Hatteberg. The A's tied it in the fifth when Singleton doubled and Mark
Ellis singled him home. The Indians scored twice in the seventh to make it 3-all. Both
runs scored on pinch-hitter Bill Selby's misplayed grounder to
first. Hatteberg field the ball cleanly, but Bradford dropped the throw
while covering first base. Ellis and Tejada both singled home runs in the eighth.
Phillips was back in the lineup after missing two games
with a bruised right hand. ... A's OF Jermaine Dye was placed on
the 15-day DL with torn cartilage in his right knee. OF Jason
Grabowski was recalled from Sacramento of the PCL to replace Dye.
... Indians OF Milton Bradley was placed on the 15-day DL with a
strained right hamstring. OF Jody Gerut was recalled from Buffalo
of the IL to take Bradley's spot and made his major league debut.
... Cleveland RHP Jason Bere was scheduled to pitch a simulated
game before Sunday's game and will probably be sent on a rehab
assignment soon after.