OAKLAND, Calif. – Dan Haren outpitched college buddy Noah Lowry in their first major league matchup, and Nick Swisher hit a three-run homer to lead the Oakland Athletics over the San Francisco Giants 6-3 Saturday.

Mark Kotsay added an RBI double, and Eric Chavez drove in a run for the A’s, who won for the seventh time in eight games. They have clinched a winning record for June – their first winning month since going 20-8 last August.

Haren (6-7) won his fifth straight decision, pitching a seven-hitter for his second career complete game. Haren, who struck out five and walked none, threw a five-hitter against Tampa Bay on May 31.

Moises Alou homered, doubled and singled as designated hitter, and Mike Matheny also homered for the Giants, who made five errors and lost for the 21st time in 28 games. It was the most errors for San Francisco since it had six at Montreal on April 29, 1999.

Lowry (4-7) allowed five runs – four earned – five hits and four walks in six innings. Lowry and Haren were teammates at Pepperdine for two seasons, live in the same condominium complex in San Francisco and even rode to Friday’s game together.

Haren, acquired from St. Louis in the December trade that sent Mark Mulder to the Cardinals, was winless in seven starts before his recent hot stretch. He retired his first seven batters before Matheny’s solo homer in the third and 18 of his first 21. Haren allowed three hits in the seventh, including an RBI double by Todd Linden.

Lowry struck out the side in the first after Jason Kendall’s leadoff walk. But the lefty, in his first full major league season, got into trouble in the second. Bobby Kielty singled and, two batters later, Dan Johnson walked. Swisher then connected for his sixth homer.

Alex Sanchez, claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Thursday, started in right field and hit leadoff in his first appearance with the Giants. Sanchez was involved in two of San Francisco’s errors, dropping a fly ball by Eric Byrnes in the eighth, then colliding with center fielder Jason Ellison moments later. Ellison was charged with the error that allowed Johnson to reach.

Sanchez, known for his bunting talent, did have a sacrifice bunt in the sixth.

Giants second baseman Ray Durham returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s 4-3 loss because of a lower back strain. Byrnes had a nice catch of a hard-hit foul by Durham in the seventh, slamming into the wall to make the grab.

Notes: Barry Bonds won’t travel with the Giants on their trip to Arizona and San Diego, staying in San Francisco to do rehab on his surgically repaired right knee. … The game drew a sellout crowd of 46,763.

AP-ES-06-25-05 1844EDT


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