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Walk with bases loaded lifts A's to win over M's

The Oakland Athletics mob Jay Payton (16) as he scores the winning run in the ninth vs. Seattle.
The Oakland Athletics mob Jay Payton (16) as he scores the winning run in the ninth vs. Seattle.
Ben Margot, Associated Press

Nick Swisher planned on having an easy afternoon Wednesday after Oakland manager Ken Macha told him he had the day off.

"I was going to use it to get my head right, and the next thing you know I'm up there hitting," he said.

Swisher walked with the bases loaded to force in the final run as the Athletics overcame a four-run ninth-inning deficit in a win for the first time in 48 years, beating the Seattle Mariners 8-7 in Oakland, Calif.

"The way things have been going, to pull off a win like this gives us momentum and confidence," Swisher said. "The way it happened was cool."

Mark Kotsay and Eric Chavez hit two-run doubles before Swisher's walk. The last time the Athletics came back from four runs down in the ninth to win was in a doubleheader opener on July 4, 1957, when the Kansas City A's beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"That shows you right there how big a win this was," A's closer Huston Street said. "In order to score five runs you have to do a lot of things and get a little lucky. It was unbelievable. You saw everybody coming through."

Seattle led 5-0 after three innings and was on the verge of sweeping its first series at Oakland since April 2001 before the comeback against Eddie Guardado (1-2), who blew a save for the third time in 34 chances, and Jeff Nelson, who walked Swisher on a 3-2 pitch.

Chavez drove in four runs as the A's stopped a four-game losing streak. Street (5-1) got the win for Oakland, which began the day 1 1/2 games out in both the AL West and the wild-card race.

"When they got the extra run, I looked up and noticed a whole lot of people heading for the exit gates," Macha said.

RED SOX 6, ANGELS 3: At Boston, Bronson Arroyo recovered from a rough beginning, and the Red Sox overcame a three-run deficit with the help of David Ortiz's two-run single. Ortiz, whose homer in the bottom of the ninth gave Boston a 3-2 win in Tuesday night's series opener, tied the game with his single, one pitch after he appeared to swing his bat far enough for a third strike. Angels manager Mike Scioscia yelled from the dugout and was ejected. Later in the third inning, Trot Nixon doubled in the go-ahead run.

YANKEES 5, DEVIL RAYS 4: At New York, Jason Giambi hit a go-ahead, two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Yankees got a much-needed victory against a surprising nemesis. Hideki Matsui hit his 400th professional homer and drove in three runs for the Yankees. New York fought back from a 4-0 deficit and improved to 5-10 against last-place Tampa Bay.

TWINS 8, RANGERS 6: At Minneapolis, Minnesota overcame a five-run deficit, taking advantage of a throwing error by pitcher Doug Brocail on a bunt to score two runs in the sixth inning. Mike Redmond and Luis Rodriguez drove in two runs each for the Twins, who trailed 5-0 in the second inning for the second game in a row.

INDIANS 4, TIGERS 1: At Detroit, Cleveland's Casey Blake homered twice, and C.C. Sabathia pitched his first complete game of the season in the Indians' three-game sweep of the Tigers. The loss was a season-high seventh straight and 12th in 14 games for Detroit, which scored just two runs in the series. Sabathia (13-9), who retired the final 21 batters, gave up four hits in his first complete game since Sept. 6, 2004.

WHITE SOX 1, ROYALS 0: At Chicago, Paul Konerko homered for the fourth straight game, and the White Sox extended their winning streak to seven. Konerko connected off Mike Wood (4-6) in the third inning. He has 36 homers and a 12-game hitting streak. Jose Contreras (11-7) won his fourth consecutive start, allowing six hits in 7 2/3 innings.

BLUE JAYS 7, ORIOLES 4: At Baltimore, Frank Catalanotto singled in the tiebreaking run in a four-run seventh inning, and Gregg Zaun homered for the Blue Jays, who took two of three games to win a series for the first time since mid-August.