And there was Miguel Tejada -- jumping around, clapping his hands
and ordering his teammates to believe.
"Miggy was chirping so much in the dugout -- 'I'm gonna get him,
I'm gonna get him,' -- you just knew something was going to
happen," Mulder said.
Something happened, all right: Tejada did it again.
The AL MVP hit a two-run double off Yankees closer Mariano
Rivera in the ninth inning, ruining Andy Pettitte's one-hit
performance with his second game-ending hit in three days and
giving the A's a 2-1 win over New York on Sunday.
Tejada's heroics were a fitting finale to a tremendously
entertaining series that included two more of the improbably
dramatic victories in which the A's specialize, whether it's during
last season's 20-game winning streak or in their history of
memorable wins over the Yankees at the Coliseum.
Oakland also won in its final at-bat on Friday night -- on
Tejada's 10th-inning homer.
"I just said, 'I'm going to do it,' because that's all you can
do," Tejada said. "I told everybody in the dugout that we could
win this thing. It's not going to get any better than today."
A phenomenal pitching duel between two quick-working,
hard-throwing left-handers ended with offensive fireworks.
Mulder (15-7) seemed headed for defeat until the dominant
Pettitte was removed after walking Mark Ellis to start the ninth.
Eric Chavez moved Ellis to third with a one-out single off
Rivera (5-1), who was pitching in his fourth straight game for the
first time in his career.
Rivera threw a low fastball to Tejada and the shortstop still
launched a drive off the elevated wall in deep left field.
"Even if you're looking for that pitch, he can beat you,"
Tejada said. "For me, he's the best closer in the majors."
Left fielder Hideki Matsui got too close and let the carom
bounce over his head, taking away any chance the Yankees had to get
Chavez. There was no throw as Chavez scored.
Tejada got another joyous home-plate reception, and thousands of
fans in the sellout crowd cheered for several minutes afterward.
The Yankees' bullpen wasted another amazing start. Pettitte
allowed only Jose Guillen's first-inning infield single while
striking out six, and was headed to his ninth straight victory.
Pettitte didn't say a word as he walked to the Yankees'
clubhouse while the A's celebrated.
"It hurt," Pettitte said. "I wanted to stay in there, but who
better to come in than Mo? The way (Mulder) was pitching, I was
happy to get one run. It's a shame not to get the win."
Mulder struck out seven and allowed just one runner to reach
third base in his third straight victory -- and his major
league-leading eighth complete game of the year.
"That's as good as it gets," Mulder said. "It's the biggest
thrill for a pitcher in baseball, whether you're tied or losing.
You're just sitting there quietly, because there's nothing you can
do. You're just sitting there rooting for your team."
Rivera blew his fourth save chance in 25 tries this season. It
was the Yankees' first loss when leading after eight innings in 58
games this season.
"I wasn't tired. I felt fine," Rivera said. "I made a good
pitch to Tejada. He just got it."
In becoming the AL's second 15-game winner, Mulder retired the
Yankees' first 14 hitters before Aaron Boone's double and Alfonso
Soriano's RBI single in the fifth. He still came agonizingly close
to his second 1-0 loss in six starts, following Anaheim's win over
the punchless A's on July 4.
Mulder cruised until the fifth, when he left a two-strike
fastball up in the zone to Boone. The Yankees' new third baseman
pounded it off the wall in right-center -- and two pitches later,
Soriano hit a hard shot off Tejada's glove to drive home the run.
Soriano emerged from a 5-for-38 slump with two hits, but made an
eighth-inning throwing error.
Pettitte, who hasn't lost since June 8, retired 16 straight
batters between Guillen's hit and Ellis' sixth-inning walk -- but
after 116 pitches, he was removed by manager Joe Torre when Ellis
walked again to open the ninth.
"I didn't want Andy Pettitte to feel like a victim in this,"
Torre said. "That's why Mariano came in. ... (Pettitte) wanted to
stay in, but there's nobody I trust more than Mariano Rivera.
Ninety percent of Mariano is better than 100 percent of other
The A's went 4-2 in their only homestand during a stretch with
18 of 24 games on the road. The Yankees finished a nine-game road
trip with a pair of heartbreaking losses -- and a 10-7 victory on
Boone was responsible for seven of the A's first 10 outs on
six grounders and a foul pop. ... A day after going 4-for-5, Bernie
Williams was 0-for-4. ... Soriano has made 14 errors -- most among
AL second basemen. His fielding error on Friday night allowed the
tying run to score, and New York lost two innings later. ... Derek
Jeter extended his hitting streak to eight games.
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