The last-place Oakland Athletics are on quite a roll. In particular, their rookie pitchers.
Vin Mazzaro pitched into the eighth inning, Jason Giambi drew a bases-loaded walk in the first and the A's beat the Baltimore Orioles, 3-0, yesterday for their season-high sixth straight win.
"This is an awesome feeling," Mazzaro said.
After Adam Jones led off the game with a single, Mazzaro (2-0) retired 15 of the next 16 hitters - an impressive showing for his second career start and first at home.
The 22-year-old righthander was called up last Tuesday to make his major league debut and earned the win against the White Sox in Chicago. This time, he left to a standing ovation when he walked off the mound in the eighth following Robert Andino's one-out single.
With only two hits, Oakland matched its longest winning streak against the Orioles at eight games and earned a three-game sweep for the first time this year. This is the A's longest winning streak since Aug. 11-16, 2006, when they also won six in a row. Oakland's starters have won six straight games as well, for the first time since getting eight straight victories from June 8-16, 2006.
Mazzaro, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Josh Outman are the rookie starters in an inexperienced Oakland rotation.
"They're attacking the strike zone and putting hitters away," catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "That's big. They're getting more comfortable."
Baltimore outfielder Felix Pie, who left the Orioles' loss to Oakland Saturday night after hitting a foul ball that bounced up off the dirt and hit him in the throat, is OK. He had a CT scan on his throat and it showed no serious damage.
In other games:
* At Detroit, Clete Thomas' grand slam broke an eighth-inning tie to lead the Tigers to a 9-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
* At Chicago, Chris Gimenez and Luis Valbuena hit consecutive home runs off former Cleveland ace Bartolo Colon and the Indians beat the White Sox, 8-4.
Victor Martinez and Shin-soo Choo also hit back-to-back homers off Colon.
* At Boston, Nelson Cruz homered and finished with three hits, helping the Texas Rangers win, 6-3, for their first series win over the Red Sox in 12 years.
* At New York, Nick Swisher hit the 100th home run at the new Yankee Stadium, helping Joe Girardi earn his 200th win as a manager as the Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3.
* At Toronto, Roy Halladay (10-1) pitched a seven-hitter to become the first 10-game winner in the major leagues and the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals, 4-0.
Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay homered for Toronto.
* At Seattle, Jose Lopez homered and drove in two runs, leading Erik Bedard (5-2) and the Mariners to a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. *