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Haren continues dominant ways, Athletics cruise by Rangers

May 31, 2007 - 1:58 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- When Dan Haren takes the mound, The Oakland Athletics' pitching problems go away.

Haren pitched eight outstanding innings and Dan Johnson drove in three runs as the Athletics posted a 6-1 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Nick Swisher had two hits and scored twice and Milton Bradley, who was just activated from the disabled list, also had two hits for Oakland, which evened its record (26-26) at .500.

Haren (6-2) yielded only a run, four hits and three walks to win his third straight start and sixth consecutive decision.

"I'm the same pitcher but I guess I'm throwing more strikes and more quality strikes," Haren said. "I've left some balls down the middle that have been popped up but I think for the most part I've hit my spots and I haven't let up at all. I'll keep on the gas pedal."

The righthander, who struck out four, lowered his American League-leading ERA to 1.64 and has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last nine outings.

"Not to oversimplify but he's good," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He throws the ball in the low 90s with great movement and he has a breaking ball from a different angle and he has a split fingered pitch that's very difficult to lay off as a hitter."

Haren, who threw 116 pitches - including 71 for strikes - retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced and evened his career record vs. Texas at 3-3.

"Danny's got three well-above average major league pitches and he's got a lot of guts out there," Geren added. "He just dominates. He goes right at people and doesn't back down from anybody."

His 12th start of the season also helped the Athletics, who were without starters Rich Harden and Esteban Loaiza, who both are on the disabled list.

"Being thought of as an ace is something new for me," Haren said. "I never considered myself one even this year. I started the first game but we've got a bunch of aces on this team. When Harden's healthy he's one of the best, (Joe) Blanton has thrown the ball great, going on down the line. I try to lead by example and go out there and give my team a chance to win every time."

Rangers' starter John Koronka (0-2) surrendered six runs, 10 hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old lefthander was making just his second start of the season after being recalled from Class AAA Oklahoma.

"You want to talk about that embarrassing performance? I couldn't throw an off-speed pitch for a strike," Koronka said. "It was the wrong day to have one of those days. The fastball was the only pitch I could throw for strikes. It was like BP (batting practice). They knew what was coming. That was ridiculous. I had nothing. It was embarrassing."

Oakland took the early lead in the first inning when Shannon Stewart led off with a walk and one out later moved to second on a single by Swisher. After Bradley flied out, Johnson hit a triple to right-center field to give the Athletics a 2-0 lead.

With Oakland leading 2-1 after the Rangers halved the deficit in the top of the third on a run-scoring double by Michael Young, Swisher led off the bottom of the frame with a double and scored when Bradley doubled to the center field wall to make it 3-1. Bradley had just returned to the lineup after nursing a strained left hamstring.

"It was great obviously," said Johnson of Bradley's return. "He made a couple of nice plays out there, he hit the ball hard every time up, with a guy on base, with guys in scoring position, I can't say enough."

Johnson had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Jason Kendall had an RBI single in a two-run sixth for the A's to make it 6-1.

Young had two hits or the Rangers, who have lost seven of eight games.

"We've been working hard, keeping our preparation pretty good, it's just a matter of going out there and getting it done between the lines," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I have no problem with the effort my team has been giving me. We just haven't been consistent at getting it done and we're going to keep going until the schedule is through"








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
    OAKLAND 2 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 x 6 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - JOHN KORONKA, WES LITTLETON (6TH) AND GERALD LAIRD
    OAK - DAN HAREN, KIKO CALERO (9TH) AND JASON KENDALL

    HOME RUNS: TEX - NONE
    OAK - NONE

    May 30 5:54 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY TRAVIS BUCK SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, S STEWART ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    OAKLAND 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: N SWISHER (.307, 2-FOR-2, BB)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 30 5:23 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON KENDALL SCORED BOBBY CROSBY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KENDALL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    OAKLAND 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.273, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 30 5:16 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAN JOHNSON SCORED TRAVIS BUCK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N SWISHER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    OAKLAND 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: E CHAVEZ (.231, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 30 5:07 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MILTON BRADLEY SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BRADLEY ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    OAKLAND 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.321, 1-FOR-1, 2 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 30 4:33 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED KENNY LOFTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M YOUNG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    OAKLAND 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M TEIXEIRA (.301, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 30 4:24 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY DAN JOHNSON SCORED SHANNON STEWART AND NICK
    SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D JOHNSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: E CHAVEZ (.233, 6 HR, 24 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 30 3:59 PM