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Athletics Take Two From Tigers

Buddy Bell said the first game couldn't get any uglier. Then came the second game.

"I'm tired of it, and I'm sure most of the players are tired of it," said Bell, whose Tigers were swept by the Oakland Athletics 7-2 and 7-1 Saturday.

"This just isn't today or the past week," Bell said. "It's three years worth of stuff coming down."

Ben Grieve went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Tom Candiotti (9-14) pitched a six-hitter in the second game. In the opener, Gil Heredia (1-0) won in his first major league start since 1995.

Oakland matched its longest winning streak of the season. The Tigers have lost five straight and 16 of 19.

Both benches cleared in the eighth inning of the second game when Detroit reliever Todd Jones hit Bip Roberts in the foot with a pitch. Plate umpire Eric Cooper prevented Roberts from charging the mound, and no punches were thrown. Neither player was ejected, but Rickey Henderson ran for Roberts.

"Well, I didn't think he would just stay on first base when he got there, let's put it that way," Howe said why he took Roberts out of the game.

"It was pretty obvious what was going on," Howe said. "They walked the ninth hitter (A.J. Hinch) to get to him, and the catcher sets up inside. Obviously there's some ill will amongst those folks."

Roberts, traded to the A's by the Tigers two months ago, said he waited to charge the mound because he was surprised.

"I really didn't want to do it, because Todd Jones is a great human being," Roberts said. "I have nothing against him. I think he was just doing what he was told to do. You can't let the personal stuff get into the game like that."

Grieve, 5-for-8 in the doubleheader, doubled twice off Frank Castillo (3-9) in the second game.

Candiotti pitched his third complete game, winning for the fourth time in five starts. He walked four and struck out two.

With one out in the first, Ryan Christenson singled and Jason Giambi reached when second baseman Damion Easley misplayed a potential double-play grounder for an error. One out later, Grieve's two-run double put Oakland ahead.

After center fielder Christenson robbed Frank Catalanotto of an extra bases with leaping catch against the wall in the fifth, Deivi Cruz hit an RBI single.

Mike Blowers hit a two-run homer in the sixth for a 4-1 lead, and Roberts singled in a run in the seventh. Oakland added two runs in the eighth against Matt Anderson on Matt Stairs' sacrifice fly and Grieve's RBI single.

Heredia couldn't have been more please about the opener.

"This was a feeling not easily forgotten, but left out of my heart for two years," said Heredia, making his first start since Aug. 20, 1995, when he pitched for Montreal at San Diego.

Four Detroit errors made it easier for Heredia, who allowed two runs and six hits in his first win since a relief victory in 1996.

"That's about as ugly as it gets," Bell said. "Hopefully that's the bottom of the barrel."

Oakland backed Heredia with nine hits and five walks. Heredia, meanwhile, struck out four and walked none.

"I live and die with bases on balls," Heredia said. "Something like 90 percent of my walks come around to score. I just decided to let them get base hits and score that way.'

Oakland scored in five of seven innings against Brian Moehler (12-10), who gave up seven runs six earned with a season-high five walks. T.J. Mathews pitched three innings for his first save.

Henderson walked and later scored in the first on Giambi's RBI grounder for a 1-0 lead. Miguel Tejada's RBI groundout scored Ben Grieve in the second to make it 2-0.

After Geronimo Berroa's RBI groundout cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth, the A's upped their lead to 4-1 in their half on when Ed Sprague hit an RBI double and scored on Tejada's single. Scott Spiezio's RBI single in the sixth put the A's ahead 5-1.

Bobby Higginson missed a chance to get Detroit back in the game in the seventh, grounding out with the bases loaded against Mathews to score just one run.

Two more runs scored for Oakland in the seventh. Mike Macfarlane doubled to lead off the inning, chasing Moehler. Henderson blooped a single to score Macfarlane and went to second on the throw.

Henderson advanced when Doug Bochtler threw wildly to second on a pickoff attempt, them scored when second baseman Easley overthrew third base trying to catch Henderson.

Notes:

  • Heredia got his first win in the majors since Sept. 28, 1996, when he pitched in relief for Texas against the Angels.
  • To make room for Heredia, the A's optioned outfielder Jason McDonald to Edmonton.
  • Henderson rested in the second game He has walked 20 times in his last 15 games, and leads the AL with 104 walks.
  • The Tigers have been outscored 111-53 in the first inning.

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