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GAME OF THE DAY

Johnson Helps A's Rout the Orioles

September 04, 2006|From the Associated Press

OAKLAND — Dan Johnson's triumphant return to the big leagues spoiled Hayden Penn's own comeback.

Johnson hit a grand slam in his first official at-bat back from the minors and the Oakland Athletics gave Penn a rude welcome in his first major league start of the year, scoring nine runs in the first inning of a 10-1 victory Sunday over the Baltimore Orioles.

"I feel completely different in the box than when I left," Johnson said. "I feel like I'm up there to attack the ball and go after it and do some damage rather than having the bat on the shoulder and being really patient."

Johnson started 67 of the 88 games before the All-Star break but was sent to triple-A Sacramento because of his .237 batting average.

He tried to regain his aggressiveness in the minors and Manager Ken Macha pulled him aside before the game to praise him for swinging at the first pitch on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly Saturday in his first plate appearance back. Johnson's grand slam also came on the first pitch.

The grand slam was the key blow in the nine-run inning, Oakland's biggest since scoring nine in the first against Texas on Sept. 30, 2000.

Penn's first trip to the majors this season was cut short in May when he underwent an emergency appendectomy just before he was scheduled to start against Seattle. He couldn't make it out of the first inning when he got his second chance, giving up eight runs.

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ROUNDUP

Toronto 6, at Boston 1: Gustavo Chacin kept Boston's bats quiet with six shutout innings, Bengie Molina had four hits and the Blue Jays put another dent in the sinking Red Sox. Boston dropped two of three to the Blue Jays, totaling 10 runs and 24 hits, and lost for the 16th time in 21 games.

at Kansas City 7, Chicago 3: Ryan Shealy and Angel Berroa each homered and drove in three runs, and Mark Redman pitched seven strong innings. Paul Konerko and Jim Thome homered for the White Sox, who maintained a half-a-game lead over Minnesota in the wild-card standings.

at New York 10, Minnesota 1: Alex Rodriguez hit two homers and drove in five runs, and Darrell Rasner pitched six impressive innings for his first major league win for the East-leading Yankees, who took two of three games from Minnesota in a possible playoff preview.

at Texas 5, Cleveland 2: Kevin Millwood gave up two hits and struck out a season-high 10 in eight innings, Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer in the seventh and the Rangers ended the Indians' five-game winning streak.

at Tampa Bay 7, Seattle 6: Kevin Witt hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning to lead the Devil Rays.

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