BOSTON – Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run homer, and Olmedo Saenz added a two-run shot to lead Mark Mulder and the Oakland Athletics over the Boston Red Sox 9-1 Tuesday night.
Miguel Tejada’s hitting streak ended at 24 games, but the A’s won for the fifth time in six tries to move within one game of the Red Sox in the AL wild card race. Anaheim began the day a half-game ahead of Boston.
Mulder (13-6) allowed runners in five of six innings but benefited from poor clutch hitting by Boston, which stranded 10 runners against him. The left-hander is 11-2 in his last 14 starts.
Cliff Floyd went 0-for-3 with a walk in his Fenway Park debut with the Red Sox after going 7-for-13 in his first four games with Boston.
Tim Wakefield (5-4) gave up two singles in the first four innings before struggling with his knuckleball. He allowed a three-run homer by Hernandez in the fifth and a two-run shot by Saenz in the sixth. It was the sixth homer for each.
Oakland added three in the seventh without hitting the ball out of the infield with a single, four walks and a hit batsman.
Tejada went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth and fell one game short of the Oakland record 25-game hitting streak set by Jason Giambi in 1997.
The 24-game streak is the second-longest in the majors this year, behind the 35-game streak of Florida’s Luis Castillo. And it’s the longest in the AL since Gabe Kapler had a 28-game streak in 2000.
Tejada grounded to third in the first inning, fouled to the catcher in the fourth, flied to left in the fifth and fouled to first in the seventh.
The Red Sox led 1-0 through four innings but stranded eight runners in that span, five by Nomar Garciaparra.
With one out in the first, Trot Nixon singled, took second on Garciaparra’s single and scored on Manny Ramirez’s ground-rule double. An intentional walk to Shea Hillenbrand loaded the bases with two outs before Doug Mirabelli grounded out.
Boston loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but Garciaparra popped out.
Wakefield faced the minimum nine batters through three innings, allowing only a walk to Ray Durham, who was caught stealing.
Wakefield began the fifth by hitting Jermaine Dye with a pitch and walking Saenz. After Terrance Long struck out, Hernandez homered.
Wakefield retired the first two batters in the sixth before Dye singled and Saenz homered for a 5-1 lead.
David Justice had an RBI groundout in the seventh, and reliever Frank Castillo walked in a run and hit Saenz with a pitch to force in another.