Oakland Athletics top Cleveland Indians 7-6

OAKLAND, Calif. - Terrence Long is making a habit of being in the right place at the right time, both in the field and at the plate.

Long hit a two-run double to cap a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Oakland Athletics a 7-6 victory and a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.

Long, who went 3-for-5, also tripled against Steve Karsay and scored on Mike Stanley's double-play grounder to cut it to 6-4 in the eighth.

''It seemed like he was always up at the big moment and everything was going his way,'' Indians manager Charlie Manuel said. ''He's hot right now and he got the big hit again.''

Long was 10-for-20 on the homestand for Oakland, and made two diving catches during the series that robbed the Indians of chances to win the first two games.

''It's been a great series for me,'' Long said. ''Every chance I have to get a hit, that's what I want to do. I feel like when I have guys on, I'm just trying to do my job.''

Cleveland closer Bob Wickman (1-2) loaded the bases with one out before pinch-hitter Jason Giambi's infield single made it 6-5. Long followed with a double down the left-field line, scoring Matt Stairs and Sal Fasano, who both walked. It was Wickman's second blown save in seven chances with Cleveland.

''I made some quality pitches and they laid off them,'' Wickman said. ''When they can lay off those pitches, bad things can happen.''

The A's have won four of five since a season-high six-game losing streak.

Doug Jones (3-1) pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the victory.

''We answered the call,'' A's manager Art Howe said. ''They came in here hot, but we were bound and determined to make them earn everything.''

Travis Fryman hit two home runs and drove in four runs for Cleveland, which fell three games behind Oakland in the wild-card race and a half-game behind Boston.

Fryman's first homer broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth. David Segui singled off Gil Heredia to start the inning. One out later, Fryman hit a 2-1 pitch over the left-field fence. Following two-out walks to Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel, Roberto Alomar doubled home another run.

''From our standpoint there wasn't a lot of good things,'' Fryman said. ''The offense performed well and Chuck pitched a good game, but ultimately it wasn't enough.''

Fryman hit his 18th homer, a solo shot also off Heredia, leading off the seventh to make it 5-1. He added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Cleveland's Chuck Finley hasn't won in Oakland since July 12, 1997, as a member of the Anaheim Angels. He allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in 6 1-3 innings. It was his longest outing since he went 7 2-3 innings at Cincinnati on July 7, a span of seven starts.

Heredia allowed five runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.

The A's took a 1-0 lead in the first when Randy Velarde led off with a double and scored on Miguel Tejada's sacrifice fly. It was Tejada's career-high 85th RBI.

Adam Piatt led off the second with a single, but was thrown out at home by Lofton, trying to score on Ramon Hernandez's double. Finley retired the next 13 batters before Stanley led off the seventh with a single.

Cleveland tied it in the second. Wil Cordero led off with a double and, one out later, scored on Sandy Alomar's sacrifice fly.


Tejada set an Oakland record for RBIs by a shortstop, breaking his own mark set last year. ... Velarde left in the seventh with neck spasms. ... Since the acquisition of Cordero and Segui on July 28, the Indians' strikeouts per game have dropped from 7.1 to 5.4. ... Piatt snapped an 0-for-17 streak with his second-inning single. ... Segui has hit safely in 15 of 16 games with the Indians. ... Giambi didn't start to rest his sore shoulder. ... Finley moved into third place on the active innings pitched list with 2,837 1-3. ... Finley also moved past Atlanta's Greg Maddux into fourth place on the active strikeouts list with 2,299.


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