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A's Get Fired Up, Beat Pirates

Dye's single with the bases loaded in the ninth inning gives them a 12-11 win, their seventh in a row. They are 17-0 against the NL Central.

June 13, 2004|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics got fired up by a wayward pitch and then pulled off an unlikely comeback.

Jermaine Dye singled with the bases loaded in the ninth and the A's rallied from a four-run deficit for their 12-11 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Pittsburgh reliever Salomon Torres and Manager Lloyd McClendon were ejected after the right-hander threw two consecutive pitches behind Damian Miller in the eighth.

"I think it woke us up," Miller said. "I don't know what he was doing or what they were thinking. It was a huge spark for us."

Torres' first pitch sailed behind Miller about waist high, and plate umpire Kerwin Danley warned both sides. A's reliever Justin Duchscherer had hit Pirate catcher Jason Kendall with a pitch in the top of the inning.

"There's no way we think a guy throwing a 55-mph curveball is trying to hit Jason on purpose," McClendon said.

"I'm trying to tell them we've lost six in a row and we're just trying to get a win. We had things lined up the way we wanted, and unfortunately that happens."

Torres' next pitch also went behind Miller, earning an instant ejection. McClendon was also ejected as a result.

"I've already been issued a warning," Torres said. "I'm not trying to hit anybody. You have to be crazy or stupid to do that. I'm very disappointed he made the decision especially late in the game and how badly we need this win."

Torres argued with a fan sitting behind the Pirate dugout as he left the field escorted by a security guard.

Bobby Crosby had two RBI doubles as the A's extended their season-best winning streak to seven games. They also improved to 17-0 against National League Central Division teams.

Marco Scutaro doubled to lead off the ninth, and after Mark Corey (0-1) got Eric Byrnes to fly out, Mark McLemore and Mark Kotsay were walked intentionally ahead of Dye.

"I told someone I was just going to wait for the right pitch," Dye said. "I was just patient. The guys were pretty excited when they came back and did that [to Miller]. It got us going."

Arthur Rhodes (3-3) blew his fifth save in 14 opportunities, most in the American League, but got the win when Dye singled.

Erubiel Durazo drove in three runs and Byrnes hit two homers for the A's, who scored five times in the eighth inning against Pittsburgh closer Jose Mesa to take an 11-10 lead.

"It makes no difference coming in the eighth or ninth, I still have to get the outs," Mesa said. "It wasn't tough, I just didn't do my job."

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