OAKLAND, Calif. -- Ken Macha had little preference who stood in the batter's box with the game on the line, because Oakland's recent success has the skipper confident in every one of his guys.
It just so happened to be No. 9 hitter Marco Scutaro, already responsible for three game-winning hits this season after producing two last year.
He did it again.
Scutaro lined a single to left to drive in the winning run in the 10th inning, and the Athletics rallied to defeat the Cleveland Indians 5-4 on Wednesday for their eighth win in nine games.
"The way we've been playing, I'm happy to see most of the guys up there," Macha said. "Everybody's been coming through. That's what this whole thing's been about -- everybody picking each other up."
Scutaro, originally signed by Cleveland out of Venezuela 11 years ago, was anxious to contribute after failing to get a sacrifice bunt down in the ninth and going 0-for-3 in his previous at-bats.
"Today, I didn't do anything the whole game," he said. "I was trying to get a base hit to make my day."
His teammates made his day afterward, all right. Scutaro was plowed and punched in a crazy celebration near first base. His batting helmet was still on, which made the hits hurt -- so he quickly threw off the hat and headed to the clubhouse.
The A's improved to 8-2 in extra innings this year. Rookie Huston Street (4-1) pitched two innings for the victory.
Oakland tied it in the ninth against closer Bob Wickman, who had converted his previous 11 saves but blew his fourth save opportunity of the year.
"Last night I got them out on the same balls I threw today," Wickman said. "Today, I had a two-run lead and lost it."
Wickman allowed three consecutive singles starting the ninth, including an RBI drive to left by Payton that snapped an 0-for-18 slump. Jason Kendall singled in the tying run two batters later.
Bobby Kielty hit a solo homer and Nick Swisher hit an RBI double in the first to give Oakland a 1-0 lead. Swisher hit another double in the third, and Dan Johnson had a career-high four hits for the A's, who improved to 11-3 since the All-Star break.
Aaron Boone hit a two-run homer and Scott Elarton pitched seven strong innings, but the Indians couldn't hold a two-run lead. Boone also added singles in the sixth and seventh innings, and has hit safely in 13 of his last 17 games. Grady Sizemore had three hits and Victor Martinez and Coco Crisp two each for Cleveland.
The Indians stopped Oakland's seven-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory Tuesday night, then quickly knocked around starter Dan Haren, whose league-best winning streak was preserved at seven games when his team tied it late.
Haren allowed a career-high 12 hits in his first career meeting with Cleveland, but is 7-0 in his last 12 starts. He hasn't lost since a 2-1 defeat to Tampa Bay on May 26.
Elarton was efficient after losing his previous two starts. He allowed two runs on seven hits before giving way to Arthur Rhodes, booed as he took the mound to face his former team.
Elarton, who beat Oakland on May 28 at Jacobs Field, has lasted at least seven innings in each of his last five starts.
After Swisher's second double, Elarton retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced before allowing Kielty's seventh homer of the year with two outs in the sixth.
The Indians cranked six hits in the first two innings, including Boone's 10th homer of the year in the second, a shot to left.
Haren lasted just 5 1/3 innings for the second consecutive outing. He struck out seven and didn't walk a batter, and the A's avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time since July 6-7 at Toronto. They haven't dropped a home series since May 13-15 against the Yankees.
- Haren's hits also were a season high for Oakland. He allowed 10 hits in a game six times, the last being July 10 at Chicago.
- A's CF Mark Kotsay missed his third consecutive game because of a sore back. Kotsay, who was rehabbing away from the ballpark Wednesday, had an MRI exam Tuesday that revealed almost the same problem that sidelined him from May 19 to June 5, 2003, while with San Diego. "He's slowly getting better, just not as fast as we'd like," trainer Larry Davis said. "We'll see how he is Friday. If he's not ready then, we'll give him a couple more days off. We're at a point in the season where you don't want to doom someone and have them go out there and play at 85 percent.
- The game drew 40,331, including a walk up of approximately 15,000 for the club's sixth annual root beer float day, which raised $51,700 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.