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A's Blow Past D'Backs In 11th

A checked swing gave Mike Blowers another chance. He didn't waste it.

Blowers remained alive to single home the tying run in the ninth and then drove in the game-winner with a bases-loaded single in the 11th as Oakland beat Arizona 2-1 on Friday night in an interleague game.

"On a check swing, you never know what's going to happen," said Blowers, who was down to his last strike in the ninth when he held up on a swing at Gregg Olson's offering. "I knew it was close. Those kind of things, can go either way. I was happy to get another chance."

The Diamondbacks appealed, but first base umpire Mike Reilly ruled he held up his swing in time.

"I'm surprised they even asked," Arizona manager Buck Showalter said. "We never should have played past nine innings. It was a very frustrating game."

Given new life, Blowers fouled off a couple more pitches before hitting the run-scoring single to send the game into extra innings.

In the 11th, Scott Spiezio drew a lead off walk from Russ Springer (3-3) after catcher Damian Miller dropped a foul popup for an error. Ben Grieve followed with a single, and Matt Stairs was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Blowers, a .448 hitter with the bases loaded, then hit a drive to left to score the decisive run.

"It was a well-played, well-pitched game," Blowers said. "It could have gone either way and were definitely excited it went our way."

Mike Mohler (1-2) got the victory with an inning of scoreless relief.

Both teams scored a run in the ninth on two-out RBI singles, with Jay Bell opening the scoring for Arizona and Blowers countering for Oakland.

With Olson trying to close out the A's for his eighth save, Rickey Henderson led off the ninth with a walk and moved to second on Spiezio's sacrifice. After Grieve walked and Stairs struck out, Henderson stole third and scored on Blowers' single to right.

The game between expansion Arizona and the A's, who trail the AL in attendance, drew a crowd of only 9,082 to the Oakland Coliseum.

Bob Wolcott, making his season debut, matched zeros with Oakland starter Kenny Rogers through eight innings and neither of them allowed a baserunner past second base.

"The way the two guys were going at it, it didn't seem like anything was going to happen. They both pitched great games," Blowers said.

Added Olson, "Bob Wolcott was awesome tonight. I feel bad about the turn of events."

Mike Fetters relieved Rogers to start the ninth, and after retiring the first two batters, Matt Williams and Travis Lee singled before Bell singled in the first run of the game.

Rogers went eight innings and gave up two hits none after the third but came away with his fourth straight no decisin. He struck out eight, one below his season high, and walked three.

Wolcott, recalled this week from Triple-A Tucson, allowed three hits in eight innings, while striking out three and walking one.

Notes: Henderson's ninth-inning run was the 1,949th of his career, tying him with Stan Musial for sixth on the career list. ... David Dellucci's double in the third inning extended the Diamondbacks' string of games with extra-base hits to 48. The last time Arizona was held to singles only was Andy Ashby's four-hitter in San Diego on April 13. ... After walking Kelly Stinnett in the fifth inning, Rogers picked him off first base. It was Rogers' major league-leading seventh pickoff this season. ... Spiezio singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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