OAKLAND, Calif. – Kirk Saarloos recovered from Jimmy Rollins’ leadoff homer to shut down the Philadelphia Phillies and pitch the Oakland Athletics to a 2-1 victory Saturday.

Scott Hatteberg and Dan Johnson each drove in a run for the A’s, who held off Philadelphia with excellent defense. Ricardo Rincon worked two scoreless innings, his longest outing in seven years, and Justin Duchscherer earned his first career save.

Rollins, playing in his native Oakland this weekend for the first time as a pro, had three hits and two stolen bases, but the Phillies lost for just the third time in 11 games.

Saarloos (3-4) threw a season-high 6 1-3 innings, scattering nine hits and four walks to win his second consecutive decision. He did not strike out a batter.

The right-hander allowed baserunners in every inning but was helped by four double plays and some shaky Philadelphia baserunning. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth by getting Pat Burrell on a flyout.

Rincon has not allowed an earned run in 11 appearances and has stranded 14 of his last 16 inherited runners. His two-inning stint was his longest outing since going 2 1-3 innings for Pittsburgh in 1998. He gave way in the ninth to Duchscherer, who got the final two outs.

Former A’s pitcher Cory Lidle (6-5) was effective, allowing three of his five hits – and both runs – in the fourth. He retired 14 of his final 16 batters. Lidle walked two and struck out two in 7 2-3 innings.

Hatteberg’s RBI single and Johnson’s sacrifice fly in the fourth gave the A’s a 2-1 lead.

The Phillies’ aggressiveness on the bases cost them when Mike Lieberthal was caught off second on Ramon Martinez’s grounder back to Saarloos in the third, and Bobby Abreu was thrown out trying to score from first on Jim Thome’s fourth-inning double.

Chase Utley also got doubled off first in the sixth when Mark Kotsay chased down Jason Michaels’ long fly to deep center. Utley was already halfway to third and was thrown out by 10 feet.

Notes: Phillies 3B David Bell was given a day off. … Rollins has 11 career leadoff home runs. … The Phillies hit or ran into double plays in each of the first three innings. … Abreu has reached base safely in 19 consecutive road games. … A’s 1B Erubiel Durazo’s injured left elbow has not responded to treatment. He’s already missed 23 games and no date has been set for his return. … Oakland won its fourth in six games.

AP-ES-06-18-05 1756EDT


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