ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Rich Harden came within one out of becoming the first Oakland pitcher in more than four years to record consecutive shutouts, combining with Huston Street on a four-hitter in a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

Harden (7-4) had retired 19 of 20 batters before giving up a two-out single in the ninth to Steve Finley. The A’s conceded second base to Finley, and Bengie Molina chased Harden with an RBI single to center.

Street got Maicer Izturis on a fly ball for his sixth save.

Harden allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked three. The right-hander, who was sidelined more than five weeks because of a strained left oblique muscle, is 5-1 with a 1.34 ERA in six starts since ending his first career stint on the disabled list.

The Angels’ other hits were a leadoff single in the third by Chone Figgins and a leadoff double in the second by Finley, who was subsequently tagged out by Harden at home in a rundown. The play began when Izturis hit a dribbler toward the mound and Harden missed the ball with his glove before inadvertently kicking it to catcher Jason Kendall as Finley broke from third base.

In his previous outing last Thursday against Texas, Harden he retired the first 22 batters in order in a two-hitter that was the first complete game victory of his career. The last A’s pitcher to post shutouts in consecutive starts was Mark Mulder, who beat Arizona 3-0 with a one-hitter July 6, 2001, and then the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 with a six-hitter six days later.

Jarrod Washburn (6-5) pitched seven innings and allowed three runs and five hits, including Dan Johnson’s fifth homer leading off the seventh. The left-hander struck out five and walked four.

Washburn, whose previous five victories included four combined shutouts, gave up his first run when Mark Ellis led off the third with a triple that skipped past Garret Anderson in the left field corner and Kendall followed with a sacrifice fly.

Jay Payton made it 2-0 in the sixth with an RBI double.

Notes: Oakland DH Erubiel Durazo, out of the lineup since May 25 because of tendinitis in his left elbow, will need season-ending surgery and is expected to be sidelined an additional nine to 12 months. … Figgins stole second base in the third, becoming the first Angels player with consecutive seasons of 30 or more steals since Chad Curtis and Luis Polonia in 1993. Figgins stole 34 bases last year. … Los Angeles’ Vladimir Guerrero was 0-for-4 and has three hits in his last 38 at-bats. … Washburn had allowed just two home runs in 65 2-3 innings before Johnson’s homer. … Eric Chavez struck out three times and grounded into a double play, making him 3-for-30 against the Angels this season.

AP-ES-07-20-05 0051EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.