Oakland scores six runs in first to support Zito

DETROIT (AP) -- Eric Byrnes was glad to provide Barry Zito with

some run support, even if it did turn Tim Hudson into a heckler.

Byrnes hit a three-run triple in Oakland's six-run first and

Zito pitched six strong innings as the Athletics beat the Detroit

Tigers 11-2 Thursday night.

"It was nice to get a good cushion for Barry,'' said Byrnes,

who was 2-for-3 with a career-high four RBI. "We obviously felt

like we had it locked up after the top of the first because we had

a guy like Barry on the mound.

"But Huddy was giving Zito a hard time about stealing all the

runs. He was saying, 'Share the wealth.' We were having a good


The A's won their eighth straight series and 11th in their last

13. Oakland (25-15) has its best record after 40 games since 1990.

Hudson is among AL leaders with a 2.88 ERA, but he is just 3-1

because of a lack of run support. He gave up only one run over

eight innings in Detroit's 2-1 win on Wednesday, with Ricardo

Rincon taking the loss.

"I was like, c'mon," Hudson said.

Zito didn't want to hear from his teammate, but he did.

"He was razzing me in the first inning, like I took all his

runs," Zito said. "He was yelling at me and I was just trying to

stay focused."

Detroit had six wins -- of a major league low nine -- in its nine

previous games.

"We had our share of tough luck," Tigers manager Alan Trammell

said. "Unfortunately, Adam couldn't get out of that and they end

up getting six runs. You look back, that was pretty much the


Zito (6-3) gave up two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and two

walks. The defending AL Cy Young Award winner struck out five and

retired the last nine Tigers he faced.

Zito's career record is 53-20 and his 72.6 winning percentage is

the best of any pitcher with at least 50 wins, but he is just 4-4

against the Tigers.

"It's not so much that the Tigers get in my head, but it's

probably my fault for not being aggressive enough," Zito said.

He was 2-2 in his previous four starts after giving up a total

of eight runs because Oakland supported him with just eight runs.

Adam Bernero (0-6) gave up eight runs on eight hits and three

walks while striking out two over 3 1/3 innings, his shortest

outing of the season. He had not allowed more than five runs in his

seven previous starts this season.

Bernero entered the game with the lowest run support -- 1.22 runs

per nine innings pitched -- but it would have been tough for the

Tigers to help him out enough after Oakland's first-inning


The A's scored six runs in the first with two outs.

Ramon Hernandez beat Bernero's throw on an infield hit, which

scored Miguel Tejada. Terrence Long then walked to load the bases

and Byrnes cleared them with a his fourth triple, which bounced

into the center-field wall.

The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the home half, but

Zito got Carlos Pena to fly out to end the threat.

Detroit's Andres Torres hit an RBI triple in the second, and

scored on an error.

The A's didn't need to give Zito more run support, but they did.

Scott Hatteberg, the first to face Wilfredo Ledezma, hit a

two-run double in the fourth to put Oakland ahead 8-2.

Erubiel Durazo and Hernandez led off the fifth with a walk and

single and scored on a throwing error by third baseman Dmitri

Young. Byrnes' RBI single gave the A's an 11-2 lead.

Ledezma gave up three runs -- two earned -- and four hits.

Game notes

Oakland started 28-12 in 1990. ... Oakland's Jim Mecir,

Michael Neu and Micah Bowie pitched three innings of scoreless

relief, giving up just one hit. ... Byrnes extended his hitting

streak to seven games. ... Hatteberg snapped an 0-16 skid with a

single in the second. ... The Tigers had home runs in four straight

games and six of seven. ... Detroit has been outscored 22-7 in the

first inning this season.