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A's Keep Winning, Beat Sox


In a league full of great shortstops, Oakland's Miguel Tejada is showing he belongs. With his bat and his glove, he's helping the Athletics make a run for the playoffs.

Tejada came within a single of hitting for the cycle and made a great defensive play in the eighth inning as the A's beat the Chicago White Sox 7-5 Saturday night to stay tied with Boston for the AL wild-card lead.

Tejada was walked intentionally in his final at-bat.

"I don't know if they wanted me to hit. But you know I'll take my walk and let another guy try to get a hit," he said. "I don't feel bad about that."

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  • Tejada's play helped Gil Heredia win his eighth straight decision. The A's also got a two-run homer in the ninth from John Jaha, and Doug Jones got the final out for his 299th career save.

    Heredia (11-5) allowed hits to the first three batters he faced, then retired 18 straight. He hasn't lost since June 10 at San Diego, a stretch of 14 starts.

    "We were looking at the scoreboard and knew Boston had won and we had to keep on track," Heredia said. "We're scoring runs and we're scoring them at the right time. And we're having fun."

    Heredia walked none, struck out two and allowed five hits, leaving after a bloop single by Brook Fordyce leading off the eighth.

    After reliever Buddy Groom walked Ray Durham, Mike Caruso bunted.

    Catcher Mike Macfarlane decided to go to second and his throw was headed into center field, but Tejada went high and sideways to catch the ball and then dove to the bag to force Durham. The White sox scored on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Magglio Ordonez to make it 5-4, but Tejada's play doused a potential big rally.

    "He made a bad throw and I jumped for the ball and tried to not let it go into the outfield," Tejada said.

    "That was a pretty athletic move," Oakland manager Art Howe said. "That play probably won the game for us right there."

    Carlos Lee hit a solo homer in the White Sox ninth. With two outs, Fordyce hit a line drive that right fielder Jason McDonald seemed ready to catch, but the ball hit him in the head.

    McDonald's cap was knocked off and he fell to the ground for about a minute. He stayed in the game and, after that unusual single, Jones relieved Greg McMichael and got the final out.

    Tejada hit a two-run homer in the sixth, his 17th, to put the Athletics ahead 5-2 and drive out Jaime Navarro, who lost his season-high fourth straight decision.

    Tejada tripled in the fifth and doubled in the eighth. He came up in the ninth with a chance at the cycle, but was intentionally walked with two outs and a runner on second. He has eight homers and 32 RBIs in August.

    "He basically manhandled us when we played at their place. He's just hit the ball well and made some great plays," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "This guy has played All-Star caliber baseball."

    Oakland took the lead with three in the fifth against Navarro (7-12). Spiezio singled and Tejada tripled before Rich Becker hit an RBI single and stole second, setting up Randy Velarde's RBI single.

    Chicago scored a pair off Heredia in the first. Ray Durham's leadoff fly ball to left-center field was misjudged by Becker and fell for a double and Mike Caruso had a bunt single. Durham scored on Mike Macfarlane's passed ball and Frank Thomas hit an RBI double.

    Notes

  • Christenson entered the game as a pinch-runner in the seventh nd made his error in the bottom half of the inning.
  • Durham scored his 100th run, reaching that figure for the third straight season.
  • The A's have scored 190 runs in August. Seattle's 191 runs in May were the most by a major league team this season over one month.
  • Art Howe now has 288 victories as Oakland's manager, tying him with Dick Williams for second place on the team's career list. Tony La Russa is the leader with 798.
  • The White Sox are expecting more than 500 canines for their annual Dog Day afternoon promotion Sunday.
  • Navarro, booed loudly when he was removed from the game, is 1-7 over his last 12 starts with a 7.57 ERA.

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

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