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Franchise's biggest shutout win caps A's historic sweep of Giants

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Bobby Crosby batted in each of the first five innings for the first time in his career. Jason Kendall, Mark Kotsay and Eric Chavez also had plenty of chances and made the most of them.

All the while, Rich Harden waited patiently for Oakland's offense to quit before going back to the mound every inning.

Nick Swisher hit a pair of two-run homers, Harden threw seven innings of one-hit ball and the Athletics swept a three-game series from the San Francisco Giants for the first time with a 16-0 win Sunday.

"If you're on their side or on our side, you just forget about it," Chavez said. "But you hope you're not on the other end of it. There's nothing to look into this game. You can't gain anything from it."

The A's matched the franchise record for largest margin of shutout victory, most recently on May 23, 1959, against the White Sox as the Kansas City A's. It broke the Oakland record for biggest shutout win -- the previous was 15 on Aug. 30, 2001, at Baltimore.

It was the largest shutout defeat in San Francisco history and matched its biggest loss, which last happened in a 19-3 home defeat against Montreal on May 7, 1997. The Giants also lost to the Cubs 15-0 on Aug. 22, 1970.

"I don't feel sorry for any team," Crosby said.

Afterward, in his office, Felipe Alou fiddled with his briefcase and pondered another embarrassing defeat.

"I don't have an explanation," said the 70-year-old San Francisco manager who's seen almost everything during his five decades in baseball. "Anybody here could explain that. How many hits? ... How many runs?"

Swisher hit a two-run shot in the fourth and another in the fifth for his seventh and eighth of the year and second career multihomer game. The rookie outfielder hit his first homer left-handed for his first opposite-field shot this season and the next right-handed -- two pitches after the umpire warned both benches when Jason Christiansen threw near Swisher's feet and he danced out of the way.

It marked the first time an A's player homered from both sides of the plate in one game since Ruben Sierra on June 7, 1994, against Milwaukee. Manager Ken Macha said it was "encouraging" to see Swisher homer to the opposite field.

"When you get in the box, you're not thinking about anything," said Swisher, who recently took the advice of Kendall and hitting coach Dave Hudgens to stand up more in the batter's box.

Swisher has five homers in his last nine games after connecting for a three-run shot in Saturday's win. Kendall and Dan Johnson each drove in three runs, and the A's tied an Oakland record with eight doubles.

Harden (4-3), making his second start since coming off the disabled list last Tuesday, didn't allow a hit until Deivi Cruz 's broken-bat single with one out in the fifth. He struck out three and walked one in a 76-pitch performance.

Ron Flores and Kiko Calero finished the one-hitter, continuing Oakland's recent run of dominant pitching.

Harden missed more than a month with a strained stomach muscle.

"It was kind of my goal to come back stronger than when I left," he said.

It was the team's first one-hitter since Cory Lidle threw one in Cleveland on Aug. 21, 2002. Harden combined with three other pitchers on a two-hitter last year against Texas.

Oakland, which began the day out of last place in the AL West for the first time since May 20, won for the eighth time in nine games and 11th in 14, impressing the sellout crowd of 44,633 with its consistent hitting throughout the order.

The A's have won their last five series and seven of eight after winning only five of their first 17. They are 18-8 in 26 games since May 30, the third-best record in the majors during that span.

Crosby and Kotsay each drove in two runs, and six of the A's nine starters had hits after two innings -- Crosby already had two. The team's runs and hits (24) were season highs, and the hits were its most since 2000.

Kendall's second-inning double was his first RBI in June, and it snapped a career-long 20-game stretch without driving in a run. He added an RBI single in the third and doubled again in the fourth.

Oakland took four of six meetings in the Bay Bridge Series. After dropping two of three at SBC Park in May, the A's got strong starts from Joe Blanton and Dan Haren in the first two games of this series, and Harden's victory improved the starters to 8-0 in their last nine games.

The Giants never seemed in it mentally.

Brett Tomko (5-10) lost his third straight decision and hasn't won since beating the Mets at Shea Stadium on June 5. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the year.

"It's not just the game," Tomko said. "It's been a rough three weeks for me. There's not a whole lot I can say about it. I have to try to regroup and get after it."

The Giants didn't have an error -- about the only thing that went right -- a day after making an uncharacteristic five.

Notes

  • Tomko started against the A's for the first time since May 13, 2000, when he won for Seattle.
  • Oakland has allowed three or fewer runs in each of its last nine games.
  • Swisher also hit two homers April 6 at Baltimore.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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A's rookie Nick Swisher watches his opposite-field two-run homer in the fourth inning.  (AP)
A's rookie Nick Swisher watches his opposite-field two-run homer in the fourth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

N. Swisher
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 4
Oakland

R. Harden
IP 7.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 1
K 3
 
San Francisco Giants
Jason Ellison, CF4000001 .299
J.T. Snow, 1B3000000 .264
    Lance Niekro, 1B1000000 .292
Pedro Feliz, 3B4000010 .279
Moises Alou, LF3000001 .315
Ray Durham, 2B3000011 .269
Deivi Cruz, SS3010001 .287
Todd Linden, RF-LF3000011 .186
Mike Matheny, C3000001 .241
Alex Sanchez, DH-RF2000100 .333
Totals29010136 
Fielding
DP - Feliz-Durham-Niekro
San Francisco Giants
Brett Tomko (L,5-10) 2.21066200 5.19
Brandon Puffer 1.1555101 10.29
Jason Christiansen 1755001 6.00
Scott Munter 1000000 2.75
Tyler Walker 1100000 4.88
Jack Taschner 1100000 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Tomko 68-39, Brandon Puffer 28-17, Jason Christiansen 25-16, Scott Munter 18-11, Tyler Walker 17-9, Jack Taschner 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Tomko 1-7, Brandon Puffer 1-3, Jason Christiansen 2-1, Scott Munter 2-1, Tyler Walker 2-1, Jack Taschner 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Tomko 20, Brandon Puffer 10, Jason Christiansen 10, Scott Munter 3, Tyler Walker 4, Jack Taschner 3
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C3333100 .268
   a- Adam Melhuse, PH-C2000001 .125
Mark Kotsay, CF5132102 .279
Bobby Crosby, SS6142004 .316
Eric Chavez, 3B4120001 .266
   b- Keith Ginter, PH-3B2000003 .171
Scott Hatteberg, DH5211103 .282
Bobby Kielty, LF5231000 .285
Dan Johnson, 1B5223002 .286
Nick Swisher, RF5334001 .246
Marco Scutaro, 2B5130000 .254
Totals471624163017 
a-grounded out for Kendall in the 5th
b-grounded out for Chavez in the 5th
Batting
2B - Jason Kendall 2 (12, Tomko, Puffer), Mark Kotsay (18, Tomko), Bobby Crosby (6, Christiansen), Scott Hatteberg (11, Christiansen), Bobby Kielty 2 (11, Tomko, Christiansen), Dan Johnson (6, Puffer)
HR - Nick Swisher 2 (8, Puffer, Christiansen)
RBI - Jason Kendall 3 (20), Mark Kotsay 2 (41), Bobby Crosby 2 (11), Scott Hatteberg (27), Bobby Kielty (32), Dan Johnson 3 (11), Nick Swisher 4 (31)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kendall 2 (9), Mark Kotsay (20), Bobby Crosby (3), Bobby Kielty (12), Dan Johnson (3), Nick Swisher 2 (13)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Keith Ginter (5, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Rich Harden (W,4-3) 7100130 2.37
Ron Flores 1000000 0.00
Kiko Calero 1000000 6.06
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 76-46, Ron Flores 13-10, Kiko Calero 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 8-11, Ron Flores 1-2, Kiko Calero 1-2
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 24, Ron Flores 3, Kiko Calero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 44633
Game Time - 2:14
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dan Iassogna