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A's Keep Rocket Grounded

Two weeks ago, Omar Olivares was losing his third straight game for the last-place Anaheim Angels. Now he's in the middle of a playoff push by the surprising Oakland Athletics.

Olivares (10-9) allowed one run in six innings to win his second game since being traded to the A's on July 29, and Oakland beat Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees 6-1 Tuesday to stay close in the AL wild-card race.

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  • Scott Spiezio's two-run double in the sixth broke up a scoreless duel and Ben Grieve followed with a two-run homer as the A's improved to 10-2 on a homestand that ends Wednesday.

    "Right now I'm going out there and fighting for something, I'm playing for something," Olivares said. "It's different than playing for pride. The momentum is here and the idea that we can make it is here."

    The A's improved their home record to a major league best 41-18 and stopped the Yankees' six-game winning streak.

    "Olivares went out there and matched Clemens zero for zero through six innings and gave us a chance to stay in there," A's manager Art Howe said. "On days like today, we're a better team than them we outplayed them, outpitched them and outhit them."

    Clemens (10-5) had allowed just four hits entering the sixth. But Randy Velarde led off with a single and Jason Giambi walked. With one out, Spiezio doubled over center fielder Bernie Williams. Fie pitches later, Grieve hit his 18th homer.

    A.J. Hinch added his fourth homer of the season, connecting off Clemens leading off the seventh. Eric Chavez hit his 12th homer in the eighth off Dan Naulty.

    The loss broke a streak of 13 straight winning decisions in the month of August for Clemens, who allowed five runs, nine hits and five walks in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out four.

    "In a game that's 0-0, you want to minimize your mistakes," Clemens said. "I got the ball up to Grieve, and they put up a crooked number."

    The Yankees scored in the seventh on a double by Ricky Ledee, an infield single by Jim Leyritz and an RBI double by Jorge Posada that knocked out Olivares. But with runners on second and third, T.J. Mathews came in and got three straight outs.

    "You come in the game with a couple of guys in scoring position against the Yankees, who are so explosive, and it's a bonus if you get out of it without a run scoring," Mathews said. "Against the Yankees, if you throw a zero up there it's definitely a confidence booster."

    Doug Jones got four outs for his sixth save this season and 297th of his career, tying Jeff Montgomery for 10th place.

    The low-scoring game came just a few hours after the Yankees defeated the A's 12-8 Monday night. Williams' grand slam capped an eight-run second inning for New York in the series opener.

    The A's have not lost consecutive games at home since being swept in a four-game series by Cleveland from April 26-29.


  • Chad Curtis missed the game to return to New York to be with his wife, who is expecting their third child.
  • John Jaha was scratched from the A's starting lineup. His wife gave birth to their third child Monday.
  • Giambi, who went 1-for-1 and walked three times, extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
  • Oakland has homered in 12 straight games and 30 of the last 31.
  • Yankees pitcher Jason Grimsley has appealed a three-game suspension for his role in a brawl last Friday at Seattle.
  • Clemens has a 13-13 record against Oakland. That matces his most losses against any club.
  • The A's are 19-8 against the AL East.
  • The A's set a season high with their eighth straight errorless game, the first time they've had such a long streak since also going eight games without an error from July 23-30, 1993.
  • Oakland tied its record for most wins on a homestand with 10.
  • Olivares became the first pitcher to get a win for two teams against the Yankees in one season since Bud Black did it in 1990 for Cleveland and Toronto.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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