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Yanks Play Longball In Oakland


Mike Oquist went from pitcher to sacrificial lamb for the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
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  • Oquist became the first pitcher since 1977 to give up 14 earned runs, setting an A's franchise record for runs allowed, as the New York Yankees overwhelmed Oakland 14-1.

    Chuck Knoblauch homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs for the Yankees. Paul O'Neill and Darryl Strawberry also homered.

    Oquist (6-9), who lost his fourth straight start, gave up 16 hits in five innings. With the Yankees and Athletics scheduled to play a doubleheader Tuesday, Oakland saved its bullpen by sacrificing Oquist.

    "Okie took one for us," manager Art Howe said. "It's a terrible feeling to have to do that with anyone on your team. Life's cruel. I was bleeding with the kid."

    Bill Travers was the last major leaguer to allow 14 earned runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He did it on Aug. 14, 1977, in 7 2/3 innings of Milwaukee's loss to Cleveland.

    Oquist said he understood the situation.

    "I know he (Howe) didn't want to do it. I didn't want to do it," Oquist said. "But you've got to keep making pitches and going at them. You make a mistake and they don't miss them. I've never been hit like that before."

    Matt Stairs tied an Athletics franchise record by homering in his fifth straight game.

    Orlando Hernandez (6-3) pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight in his second complete game. New York, which was coming off a loss at Seattle, won for the 10th time in 13 games.

    "There's a big pride factor involved. We don't play a good game, and they seem to police themselves," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "You always want to bunce back after you lose a game and it was good to bounce back like that."

    Knoblauch, in a 2-for-29 slump entering the game, hit a three-run homer and O'Neill added a two-run shot as the Yankees scored seven in the second inning.

    Knoblauch hit a two-run shot, his 12th of the season, and Strawberry added a two-run homer as New York added five in the third for a 13-1 lead. Strawberry leads the Yankees with 18 homers this season.

    Oquist gave up a double to Knoblauch to start the game and Derek Jeter doubled for a 1-0 lead.

    Every starter in the New York lineup had at least one hit and had scored a run by the fourth inning. O'Neill had three, including his 16th homer.

    "The close games make or break your season, and we have won most of them," O'Neill said. "Tonight was a fluke."

    Stairs led off the second with his 20th homer of the season.

    After the game, the A's released outfielder-designated hitter Kevin Mitchell and called up right-hander Jay Witasick to pitch in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader.

    Mitchell, the 1989 NL MVP for the San Francisco Giants, hit .228 with two homers and 14 RBI for the A's.

    "That's how it always works out ... the short end of the stick," Mitchell said. "I'm thankful that they brought me in. I had a lot of fun with these guys."

    Notes

  • The Yankees scratched Andy Pettitte from his scheduled start in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader because of a slightly strained left shoulder muscle. Ramiro Mendoza , who had been scheduled to start the second game, will now start the opener and Mike Buddie will start the second game.
  • The A's had won four straight.
  • It was the third multi-homer game of Knoblauch's career.
  • Oakland's Jason Giambi went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and had his 17-game hitting streak snapped.
  • The Yankees tied their season high with the seven runs in the second. It was the eighth time this season they've homered more than once in an inning.
  • Oakland has lost five straight to the Yankees.
  • The Yankees have hit 17 homers in the first seven games of their road trip.
  • The big-league record for runs allowed is 24 by Detroit's Al Travers against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912. That was the only time he pitched in the majors, in a game in which the regular Tigers refused to play to protest a suspension of Ty Cobb

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