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A’S PITCH WAY TO 2-0 WORLD SERIES LEAD
SPLIT-FINGER FASTBALLS HAUNT CRAIG

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SPLIT-FINGER FASTBALLS HAUNT CRAIG

Roger Craig almost can't watch. His split-finger fastball has come back to haunt the Giants.

It's been scary, too. Real scary.Oakland beat San Francisco 5-1 Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.

On Saturday, Dave Stewart showed off his split-finger pitch and beat the Giants 5-0 with a five-hitter.

In Game 2, Mike Moore bedeviled the Giants for seven innings with his version.

"You got to give credit to the Oakland pitching staff," Craig said. "Every guy they've thrown out there has had a better split-finger than the other guy."

Craig should know. He's the guru of the split-finger.

The Giants manager has saved careers by teaching it, and even created stars. But all he sees now is a monster.

In losing the first two games, the Giants managed only nine hits in 62 at-bats, a .145 average, and were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell, known as the Pacific Sock Exchange, crashed, going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

"Their pitching can't get much better than it has been," Craig said.

Oh, no?

Bob Welch will pitch for the A's in Game 3 on Tuesday at Candlestick Park. The former Los Angeles Dodger is 19-4 lifetime against the Giants, 6-0 at San Francisco.

The A's broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth against Rick Reuschel on Dave Parker's RBI double and Terry Steinbach's three-run homer.

"I thought it was a good pitch when it left my hand," Reuschel said of Steinbach's homer. "I got him out on soft stuff the first time and then I tried to sneak one by him."

Moore had no trouble getting his split-finger by the jittery Giants most of the game.

He pitched seven-plus innings and allowed one run and four hits.

To make matters worse for Craig, Moore only recently discovered the split-finger.

"I picked it up this year and started using it six or seven starts into the season," Moore said. "I threw it on the side at first and then in games after I got more confidence with it."

A's manager Tony La Russa isn't worried about overconfidence, though.

"Number one, we know who we're playing," La Russa said. "We have a bunch of guys who have been around. They know not to get careless or overconfident. It's a nice margin, but it isn't everything. We're going to be very ready on Tuesday."

The A's lost the first two games to the Dodgers last season and couldn't bounce back, losing the Series in five games.

"You have to deal with the positives when you're in that position," La Russa said. "They're going home now and they have to think positively because they have three games in their park."

About the only thing positive for the Giants in Game 2 was their run.

Terry Kennedy got the Giants' first hit off Moore when he led off the fourth with a single. Jose Uribe followed with a potential double play grounder back to the mound, but shortstop Walt Weiss appeared to be late covering second and Uribe was safe at first on the force play.

Brett Butler followed with a hit-and-run single to left, sending Uribe to third, and Robby Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to center.