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A's 6 HRs Too Much For Tribe


Not bad for somebody who wasn't even supposed to play.

A body sore John Jaha hit a grand slam and a tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth inning and Randy Velarde also homered twice to carry the Oakland Athletics past the Cleveland Indians 11-10 Tuesday night.

Jaha had sat out Monday because of lingering soreness from a collision at first base with Toronto's Carlos Delgado on Sunday. He wasn't even in the lineup until Oakland manager Art Howe, responding to a plea from Jaha, decided shortly before game time to play him.

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  • "I was pretty sore, but I did a lot of therapy and soaked in the hot tub after Monday's game," Jaha said. "When I got here today, I wasn't in the lineup and I was surprised. I went to Art and nicely told him I was ready to play."

    Jaha, who had offseason foot surgery, sat in the locker room afterward with tape and ice packs around his shoulder, midsection and a knee. He has played through pain all season.

    "He's held together by Scotch tape," Oakland's Jason Giambi said. "He's the only player I know to have McGwire-like strength. He should be comeback player of the year for all he's done. If I have to hold his hand to get him to play, I'll do it."

    A.J. Hinch and Scott Spiezio also homered for Oakland, which remained tied with Boston in the AL wild-card race.

    The Athletics' season-high six homers gave them just their second win in 11 games against Cleveland this year.

    Jim Thome hit a grand slam for the Indians in the first inning.

    "They put a quick number on us but we just kept swinging," Howe said. "This was a character builder. They roughed us up, but we came right back. It became fun for me when we went ahead in the bottom of the eighth."

    "Velarde's homers were huge. He turned on both of those. He's got pop in his bat and each of his homers rejuvenated us."

    Velarde hit a solo homer that made it 10-all with one out in the eighth. With two outs, Jaha hit his 30th homer off Paul Shuey (7-5).

    T.J. Mathews (8-3) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings.

    Billed as a duel between Steve Karsay and A's rookie Tim Hudson, the game instead turned into an offensive show.

    "This was like a playoff game for us," Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove said. "We got off to a good start, but they're a good ball team and they came right back. Both of us didn't pitch very well, but we sure hit the ball well."

    Hudson gave up nine runs and six hits, including Thome's fifth career grand slam.

    Karsay left after three innings with tightness in his right forearm and allowed five runs and four hits, including Jaha's seventh career grand slam.

    With the score 9-all in the Indians eighth, Greg McMichael walked Dave Roberts and Omar Vizquel.

    Mathews relieved and Roberto Alomar greeted him with a single up the middle to drive in his 94th run of the season, matching his career high.

    But Oakland again forged a tie of the game when Velarde connected for the second time on the night, the first multihomer homer game of his career.

    Shuey got Jason Giambi to ground out, but Jaha connected for his fifth multihomer of the year and 11th of his career.

    Cleveland moved ahead 9-6 with a three-run seventh. Manny Ramirez broke a tie with a run-scoring double and Hudson left after intentionally walking David Justice. Richie Sexson greeted McMichael with a two-run double that bounced over the head of third baseman Spiezio.

    Oakland, down by five after the first inning, again rallied in its hlf of the seventh. Velarde homered to start the inning and Matt Stairs' RBI single and Miguel Tejada's sacrifice fly evened the score at 9.

    Hudson hadn't given up more than five runs in any of 14 previous starts but the Indians roughed him up, starting in the first. Vizquel walked, Alomar singled and Ramirez was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

    After Justice walked to force home Cleveland's first run, Thome connected for his 24th homer of the year, driving Hudson's 2-1 offering into the left field seats for a 5-0 lead.

    Notes

  • Thome's grand slam was Cleveland's ninth of the season, tying a club record set in 1996.
  • Jaha's grand slam was the eighth this year for the A's, the most by an Oakland club. The total matched the franchise record set in 1932 by the Philadelphia Athletics.
  • Before the game, the Indians placed outfielder Kenny Lofton on the 15-day DL for the second time due to a lingering hamstring strain. He aggravated the injury in his first game back Aug. 13. Infielder-outfielder Jolbert Cabrera was recalled from Triple A Buffalo.
  • Oakland snapped a seven-game losing streak to Cleveland.

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