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Cincinnati at Oakland

W: D. Haren (9-2) L: M. McBeth (1-1)
S: A. Embree (8)
HR: CIN - A. Dunn (20), J. Hamilton (10)   OAK - J. Cust (10), S. Stewart (3)

A's get to Reds' bullpen, help Haren win ninth straight decision

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Dan Haren felt out of sorts -- and he still won.

That's how good the Oakland ace has been this season. The Athletics have found some interesting ways to pull out close games, too, with Haren the latest beneficiary.

Nick Swisher drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the score in the seventh inning, then Eric Chavez followed with a sacrifice fly in Oakland's 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

That saved the day for Haren, who won his ninth straight decision and third consecutive start despite giving up two home runs in a game for the second time this year.

"I'm more proud of it after the game," Haren said. "I really didn't have good stuff. I was fighting myself. I put us in a hole."

Shannon Stewart added a solo homer in the eighth. Jack Cust's two-run shot in the fourth put the A's on the board, and Oakland took advantage of its chances once Reds starter Matt Belisle was out of the game.

Mark Kotsay walked to load the bases against Jon Coutlangus in the seventh, then Swisher drew another free pass to force home Bobby Crosby. Chavez followed with his sacrifice fly.

Marcus McBeth (1-1) took the loss after giving up rally-starting singles to Crosby and Mark Ellis.

"We need to get big outs late in the ballgame from someone besides Dave Weathers," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "We're very close to being a good ballclub. We just need to get outs when we need them."

Oakland bounced back from a disappointing interleague series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals last weekend with its 22nd victory of 2007 by two or fewer runs.

Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton capitalized on two rare mistakes by Haren (9-2) in the fourth. Dunn hit a solo home run and Hamilton added a two-run drive two batters later.

But Haren recovered and the Oakland offense did just enough to keep him from his first loss since a 2-1 defeat to the rival Los Angeles Angels on April 7 in his second start of the year.

"Dan's always going to keep us in the game," Cust said. "It's uncharacteristic that he let up three runs early. After that happens, it's definitely nice to pick him up and get us back in the game."

Haren had allowed only six home runs all year and came in with the majors' lowest ERA at 1.64 before giving up the two homers. The Boston Red Sox also hit two against him June 4 in the Coliseum -- by David Ortiz and Wily Mo Pena.

"I think I might have lost my edge for a minute or two, and that's all it takes," Haren said. "Maybe I was being a little bit of a baby about it."

The right-hander got a 1-2-3 first inning featuring two strikeouts but didn't have another perfect inning until the fifth.

Alan Embree worked two perfect innings with three strikeouts for his eighth save in nine opportunities.

Reds right fielder Norris Hopper saved the potential tying run with a great throw home in the fifth on a single by Swisher to get Kotsay, who had doubled for the second time in the game.

The Reds won their first regular-season game against the A's in eight tries with a 5-2 victory Tuesday night and appeared headed for another one after Belisle pitched six effective innings.

Now, Cincinnati continues its 11-day, nine-game road trip with a visit to Seattle starting Friday. It will be Ken Griffey Jr.'s first return to the Emerald City in eight seasons with the Reds since leaving the Mariners after the 1999 season.

Griffey went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts a day after he hit his 582nd career home run and No. 19 this season. He will have Thursday's off day in Seattle to catch up with old friends.

Belisle, facing the A's for the first time in his career, allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits. He walked four.

"I have to control the long ball a little more," he said. "My ball was running right off the plate and I was trying to be too fine. I shouldn't do that."


Griffey's first K in the first inning was No. 500 of Haren's career. ... The A's activated RF Milton Bradley from his third stint on the disabled list this season and he was back in the starting lineup. Oakland made roster room by optioning infielder J.J. Furmaniak to Triple-A Sacramento. ... The Reds and A's split their two World Series meetings, with Oakland winning in seven games in 1972 and Cincinnati sweeping four games in 1990.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

D. Haren
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 3
BB 2
K 5

J. Hamilton
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Brandon Phillips, 2B4000021 .271
Ken Griffey Jr., DH4000020 .285
Adam Dunn, LF3111100 .268
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a-flied out for Hatteberg in the 8th
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HR - Adam Dunn (20, Haren), Josh Hamilton (10, Haren)
RBI - Adam Dunn (47), Josh Hamilton 2 (22)
SB - Edwin Encarnacion (3, 2nd base off Haren/Kendall)
CS - Norris Hopper (3, 2nd base by Haren/Kendall)
Team LOB - 3
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DP - A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg
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Cincinnati Reds
Matt Belisle 6421411 4.73
Marcus McBeth (H,2; L,1-1) 0.1222000 5.68
Jon Coutlangus (BS,1) 1000210 4.68
Brad Salmon 0.2111001 4.30
WP - Jon Coutlangus (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Belisle 104-60, Marcus McBeth 13-7, Jon Coutlangus 19-10, Brad Salmon 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Belisle 8-8, Jon Coutlangus 1-1
Batters Faced - Matt Belisle 25, Marcus McBeth 3, Jon Coutlangus 5, Brad Salmon 3
Oakland Athletics
Mark Ellis, 2B3110110 .266
Mark Kotsay, CF3020101 .271
Nick Swisher, 1B2011202 .293
Eric Chavez, 3B3101002 .238
    Marco Scutaro, 3B0000000 .238
Milton Bradley, RF3000115 .292
Jack Cust, DH3112100 .268
Shannon Stewart, LF4111001 .271
Bobby Crosby, SS4110000 .236
Jason Kendall, C4000001 .221
2B - Mark Kotsay 2 (6, Belisle, Belisle)
HR - Jack Cust (10, Belisle), Shannon Stewart (3, Salmon)
SF - Eric Chavez (4)
RBI - Nick Swisher (41), Eric Chavez (35), Jack Cust 2 (27), Shannon Stewart (20)
Team LOB - 7
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Dan Haren (W,9-2) 7633252 1.78
Alan Embree (S,8) 2000030 2.62
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 117-69, Alan Embree 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 8-6, Alan Embree 2-1
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 27, Alan Embree 6
Game Information
Attendance - 25872
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez