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Stairs Homers A's Past Indians


Mike Jackson's second straight blown save for the Cleveland Indians was mere inches from his 28th successful one.
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  • "I'll take this knock on the chin and go out there again tomorrow," said Jackson, who failed to hold a two-run lead in the ninth inning Saturday. Oakland won 6-5 in the 10th when Matt Stairs homered off Steve Karsay.

    Bip Roberts tied the game with two outs in the ninth when his soft bloop single to center landed just over the glove of second baseman David Bell, scoring Scott Spiezio.

    "I was up there basically with one hand hoping to get the bat on it," said Roberts, still bothered by a sprained left thumb. "It's tough enough to hit these pitchers with two hands."

    Jackson blew a save during the Indians' 9-8, 17-inning win in Seattle on Thursday night. But two blown saves do not alarm Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove.

    "If you look at that ninth inning today only one ball was hit real hard. It could have gone either way," Hargrove said. "He had 17 in row he saved before this, so he's going to be all right."

    Stairs connected on a 3-2 pitch from Karsay (0-1), the former Athletics pitcher who has worked his way back into the majors.

    "Karsay's got a great arm," Stairs said, "but I just had some adrenaline going. This is a whole team effort -- the way we came back in the ninth, the way we held them in the 10th and the way we won it. This is almost like a playoff game for us."

    The A's have gone 5-1 against the Indians this season.

    "Oakland has a better club than people give them credit for," Hargrove said. "hey've got guys who can play. They've sure played well against us."

    T.J. Mathews (5-4) worked out of a one-out bases-loaded jam in the 10th inning.

    The Indians loaded the bases with one out in the 10th but failed to score when Mathews struck out Travis Fryman and got Sandy Alomar to pop to shortstop.

    Down 5-3 in the ninth, Oakland's Miguel Tejada singled and scored on pinch-hitter Spiezio's RBI double to tie the score.

    After Rickey Henderson lined out to Jackson, Roberts singled.

    Alomar hit his first homer in more than a month, a three-run shot that gave Cleveland a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning.

    Cleveland's Dwight Gooden allowed four hits in six innings, walked three and struck out five.

    Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Manny Ramirez reached safely against Blake Stein when Henderson dropped his flyball at the warning track in left for a two-base error. Brian Giles hit an RBI single and Fryman singled.

    Alomar followed with his sixth homer of the season and first since June 28, a drive high off the left-field foul pole.

    Bell hit his 10th homer in the ninth off Oakland reliever Tim Worrell to make it 5-3.

    Oakland loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but only a sacrifice fly by Roberts produced a run. Ben Grieve struck out and Stairs flied out to end the threat.

    Oakland took a 2-0 lead in the second on Mike Blowers' RBI double and Ryan Christenson's sacrifice fly.

    Stein gave up four runs -- three earned -- on five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out three.

    Notes

  • Cleveland second-baseman Jeff Branson left the game with a strained right hamstring in the fifth inning. Hargrove said the injury might be serious enough to put Branson on the disabled list.
  • A Beanie Baby promotion pulled in 48,241 fans, the sixth-largest regular-season crowd ever in Oakland and the largest this season.
  • Steve Reed has been unscored upon in 17 consecutive outings (22 1/3 innings) with San Francisco and Cleveland. He has pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings for the Indians, allowing just three hits.
  • Cleveland is 9-3 in West Coast games this season, all the losses coming at Oakland.
  • Oakland's Jason Giambi extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a sixth-inning single.
  • Henderson moved past Rod Carew into 39th place on the career at-bats list with 9,316.

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