Athletics 6, Orioles 2
Mark Mulder became the majors' first 17-game winner, and the Oakland Athletics moved a season-high 19 games over .500 with a 6-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
Eric Chavez and Jermaine Dye both homered for the A's, who won for the eighth time in 10 games to maintain their narrow lead over Anaheim in the American League West race.
Mulder (17-4) didn't have his best stuff, and he had to labor through innings more than usual, but was staked to a four-run lead in the first by the A's offense.
The Orioles lost their eighth straight, scoring in the second on Darnell McDonald's RBI groundout and in the fifth on a double by Melvin Mora. They're on a season-high 13-game road trip -- the club's longest stretch away from home since the 2000 season.
Sidney Ponson (8-13) struggled against the A's lineup for the second straight start, allowing four runs on four hits in the first inning.
A's Manager Ken Macha batted Erubiel Durazo in the cleanup spot against Ponson after the designated hitter homered twice off the right-hander -- and three times in all -- last Wednesday. Dye has been in the No. 4 hole most of the year.
Durazo hit an RBI single in the first to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, matching his season high. The hit led to a two-base error by right fielder Jay Gibbons, who overthrew third trying to get Chavez and the ball rolled into the A's dugout. Mark Kotsay scored on Durazo's hit and Chavez came home on the error, which got Durazo to third.
Dye followed with a two-run homer, sending an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left for his 20th of the season.
Chavez hit a solo homer to right with one out in the third, his 24th this year.
Mulder, the winning pitcher for the AL in the All-Star Game, beat Baltimore, 5-4, last Wednesday at Camden Yards.
On Tuesday, the left-hander allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, struck out two and walked three.
All his walks were in the first three innings. Mulder's only 1-2-3 inning was the fourth -- he got through it in six pitches. After David Newhan singled to center with no outs in the third, Mulder retired the next eight Baltimore batters before plunking Newhan in the fifth.
Two batters later, Mulder hit Miguel Tejada with a pitch on the back of his left knee.
Tejada received another warm welcome. This is his first trip back to Oakland since signing a six-year, $72 million contract with the Orioles in December. The 2002 AL most valuable player received a lengthy ovation Monday night.
He's 0 for 7 so far in the four-game series. He shouted in frustration after grounding out in the seventh.
Gibbons doubled in the sixth to end an 0-for-19 slump. He'd been hitless in his last five games and is now just 4 for 36 (.111) in 11 games since being activated from the disabled list Aug. 10.
Ponson was tagged for six runs on nine hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Orioles Notes: Catcher Javy Lopez was a late scratch because of back spasms. Robert Machado started in his place. . . . Left-hander Bruce Chen, called up from Class AAA Ottawa, will start Wednesday -- his season debut. The team had not announced the corresponding roster move. . . . Tejada played in his 718th straight game, passing Ernie Banks for the 14th-longest streak in major league history.