OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland's bats are back, all right. That
swagger and easygoing approach has returned to the suddenly
confident Athletics' clubhouse.
Scott Hatteberg hit a three-run homer, Eric Chavez hit a two-run
shot and Marco Scutaro also connected, helping the A's complete an
impressive homestand with a 12-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on
"We're starting to become the team I thought -- and everybody
thought -- we'd be," Hatteberg said. "We had a really good
homestand. It's what we wanted and what we needed. [Confidence]
just comes with scoring a lot of runs. Everybody gets kind of
Dan Haren pitched his second straight gem with seven sharp
innings as the A's won for the sixth time in seven home games. They
now hit the road for interleague play at Washington and Atlanta
with a rediscovered self-assuredness -- a far cry from the beating
their psyches took during a recent eight-game skid, all away from
Dan Johnson drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly and a single,
and Scutaro and Hatteberg both finished with three hits and three
runs scored. Scutaro had a chance at the cycle after three innings
-- he homered in the first, doubled in the second and singled in the
third -- but grounded out in the fifth and drew an eighth-inning
He's more pleased with the team's success.
"Every team goes into a slump, even the best teams like the
Yankees," Scutaro said. "That's the good thing about baseball.
Tomorrow is a new day and you can forget the past."
Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays, who took two
of three from the A's here in April but have now lost four of five
and seven of 10.
"It was just one of those days: a waste of our time," manager
John Gibbons said. "They came out swinging. They were going to
whack it around no matter what we threw at them."
The A's tagged Toronto starter Chad Gaudin (1-1) for four runs
and five hits in the first inning and sent nine batters to the
plate. The inning lasted 26 minutes and Gaudin threw 37 pitches. He
would throw 11 more in the second inning before being removed,
having given up seven runs and seven hits.
"It didn't go too well for me out there, but I have a
short-term memory about this," Gaudin said.
Scutaro, batting in the leadoff spot in manager Ken Macha's
creative lineup, hit his third homer of the year in the first with
a shot to left -- his first career leadoff home run. Bobby Crosby
followed that with a bizarre infield double in which shortstop John
McDonald lost the high popup in the sun.
After two innings, everybody but No. 9 hitter Adam Melhuse, the
backup catcher, had a hit for Oakland -- and he'd only had one
at-bat. Scutaro, Crosby and Hatteberg each already had two hits.
Also, eight of the nine starters had either an RBI or a run scored.
Crosby's second-inning RBI single chased Gaudin, then Scott
Downs immediately gave up the home run to Chavez, a first-pitch
blast into the right-field seats for the Gold Glove third baseman's
seventh of the year.
Hatteberg hit his fourth homer of the season in the third.
"It was a nice day today, a great homestand," A's manager Ken
Macha said. "Our recent road record, you can't talk about it too
much. Hopefully we've got a little momentum going into this
Haren (3-7), coming off his first career complete game in a 10-1
win over Tampa Bay last Tuesday that snapped a seven-start winless
stretch, allowed two runs and four hits, struck out four and didn't
surrender a walk for the third straight start.
The right-hander faced the minimum through three innings, then
gave up Wells' 13th homer in the fourth. After that, Haren retired
the final 11 batters he faced. He received some advice from Barry
Zito and pitching coach Curt Young in recent weeks.
"I'm very encouraged," Haren said. "Now, I'm taking the ball
and I'm confident. I go out there thinking I'm going to win."
Gibbons was back in the dugout a day after being ill and missing
Gaudin's one-plus inning of work was the shortest outing by
a Jays' pitcher since Justin Miller lasted one inning Sept. 13 last
year vs. Baltimore. ... A's CF Mark Kotsay missed his second
straight game with a back injury. ... Oakland C Jason Kendall got a
scheduled day off. ... Former A's INF Frank Menechino earned a warm
ovation from the fans when he came in to pinch-hit in the fifth for
the Blue Jays. ... Before the game, the A's activated RHP Kiko
Calero from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Seth
Etherton to Triple-A Sacramento. Calero, who went on the DL on May
10 retroactive to May 9 with tendinitis in his right elbow,
relieved Haren and pitched a perfect eighth. Calero missed 11 games
from April 16-28. He made two rehab appearances with Sacramento