Leiter yanked in first inning of loss to A's

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Al Leiter got only two outs before he grimaced and trudged off the mound, looking every day of his 39 years.

Leiter's impressive late-season run with the New York Yankees
was over -- and for a day, so were the Oakland Athletics' hitting woes.

Scott Hatteberg hit a three-run homer and Bobby Kielty and Jay Payton also connected while the A's built an early double-digit lead in a 12-0 victory Friday night.

Oakland's maddeningly inconsistent offense was back in top form, chasing Leiter (4-4) in the first inning of the left-hander's first loss since Aug. 2. In the shortest start of his career not caused by injury, Leiter wasn't able to provide another unexpected patch for the Yankees' depleted rotation.

"I stunk. What went wrong? Everything," Leiter said. "I was terrible. It was embarrassing. Not being able to get out of the first inning is embarrassing. I made it very difficult for our lineup to get anything going."

He made it fairly easy for the A's, who tagged him for six runs, five hits and a walk. Leiter also hit two batters with pitches.

After scoring three total runs while losing two of three to the Angels earlier in the week, the A's sent 19 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs in the first two innings against the Yankees.

"It was good to see us bounce back," said Hatteberg, who hit a three-run shot off Jorge DePaula in the second. "I didn't sense any confidence loss. ... You look at them, a bunch of Hall of Famers and All-Stars, and they're phenomenal. We've been hearing about that all year, but you get into September, and we've got the same record as them."

Jason Kendall drove in two runs and Mark Ellis had an RBI triple for the A's, who beat New York for just the second time in seven meetings this season.

The only other time New York was shut out this year was April 29, when Toronto's Roy Halladay beat Randy Johnson 2-0. Oakland has an AL-best 11 shutouts.

"It certainly doesn't feel good as it's happening, but if you're a team of quality, there's no carry-over," said Yankees manager Joe Torre, who pulled every position player except Robinson Cano in the sixth inning. "It was just a bad start, and there's not a lot of romance attached to it. Right now we're a little flat, and we need a little pick-me-up."

Dan Haren (12-10) labored through six innings to earn his second straight win for the A's, who are tied with Los Angeles atop the AL West. They are also one game ahead of the Yankees and Cleveland in the wild-card race.

Leiter went 3-0 in his previous five starts and allowed no more than three earned runs, an impressive resurgence after getting discarded by Florida in mid-July -- but he didn't make it through the first inning at the Coliseum.

It was the second-shortest start of Leiter's career. He left after getting hit by a line drive by Oakland's leadoff batter, Carney Lansford, on May 31, 1988.

Ellis drove in the A's first run with a triple high off the left-field scoreboard, and Kielty hit a solo homer moments later. Dan Johnson added a run-scoring single, and leadoff hitter Kendall chased Leiter with a two-run double.

"That's just baseball," Kielty said. "The way we came out today, you can't explain it. A couple of hits went our way, and it turned into a big game for us."

The A's added five more runs in the next two innings against DePaula. Hatteberg hit his seventh homer of the season to cap a four-run second inning -- and in the third, Payton hit his 13th homer in 42 games with the A's.

Haren wasn't sharp, needing 67 pitches to get through the first three innings, but he kept New York off the scoreboard by stranding eight runners in the first four. He struck out Ruben Sierra with the bases loaded in the third and then left two runners in scoring position in the fourth.

Haren allowed four hits and four walks while striking out six.

"You would think it's easy to throw with a lead like that," Haren said. "But sometimes you go out there trying so hard to throw strikes instead of throwing it like you're supposed to."

After winning seven times on a 10-game road trip, the A's finally returned home to find their field chewed up by the Oakland Raiders' preseason games. The grass underneath the Raiders' temporary grandstands -- roughly extending in a straight line from one foul pole to the other -- was yellowed and worn, with large patches of dirt visible in straightaway center.

Game notes
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez flubbed Marco Scutaro's grounder in the fifth, ending his streak of 61 games without an error. It
was the AL's longest streak by a third baseman since 1998, when Boston's John Valentin went 65 games. ... DePaula and catcher Wil Nieves,
who replaced Jorge Posada in the sixth, became the 49th and 50th players used by the Yankees this season, tying the franchise record set in 1989.