Athletics 8, Angels 1

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Justin Duchscherer wanted to stick around and talk about his first game in the big leagues in nearly two years. Instead he had a plane to catch.

Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez each drove in three runs and Duchscherer threw seven shutout innings as the Oakland Athletics beat the Anaheim Angels 8-1 Tuesday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Duchscherer (1-0) allowed four hits as the A’s moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners in the AL West. Then he dashed off to join his wife, Michele, who gave birth to the couple’s first child (Evan Jacob) earlier in the day in Trenton, N.J.

“He’s got a lot of things to celebrate today,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “He was everything that was advertised by our people in Sacramento. He gave us a tremendous performance.”

Duchscherer, who last appeared with the Texas Rangers late in the 2001 season, struck out six and walked two. Steve Sparks pitched the eighth and Keith Foulke pitched the ninth, allowing Barry Wesson’s RBI groundout.

“I just went out there and stuck to the game plan,” Duchscherer said through an A’s official before departing. “I wanted it to be a good first day for my son and it turned out that way. My head was in the ballgame. I was aware of the situation. Today was an amazing day, the best day of my life. Having a baby and winning my Oakland debut, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Chris Bootcheck (0-1) failed to get out of the fourth inning in his major league debut. Bootcheck took over for Ramon Ortiz, who left the team to be with his family following the recent death of his father in the Dominican Republic. Bootcheck gave up eight runs on seven hits over 3 1-3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

“To say I was excited is an understatement,” Bootcheck said. “I’m still disappointed though. I didn’t paint my pitches very well. I left a lot of room for improvement.”

Duchscherer survived his first major test in the third with the help of Chavez’s diving stop of Garret Anderson’s sharp grounder to the left of third. Adam Kennedy opened the inning with a single, and two outs later Duchscherer walked both Chone Figgins and Jeff DaVanon.

Chavez gathered in Anderson’s grounder and threw from his knees to Mark Ellis at second, getting DaVanon to end the inning.

“I kind of made a bad throw there,” Chavez said. “Mark made a good play to get to it. I thought it was going into the outfield.”

Duchscherer did not allow a runner past second the rest of the way, retiring 11 in a row at one point.

“It’s the biggest day of his life,” Chavez said. “He handled it very well. He went out there and threw strikes.”

Tejada’s three-run homer highlighted a four-run third. Jermaine Dye and Eric Byrnes singled, and Erubiel Durazo walked ahead of Chavez’s run-scoring groundout. Tejada then hit a 1-0 pitch from Bootcheck that just cleared the wall down the right field line.

“Tejada broke the game open on what I thought was a really good pitch,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “That’s a tough start for Chris but I told him plenty of good pitchers started that way.”

After getting the first out of the fourth, Bootcheck gave up back-to-back homers to Ramon Hernandez and Dye, then walked Byrnes and gave up a single to Ellis before leaving the game. Chavez’s two-run double off Greg Jones made it8-0.

Notes

A’s OF Terrence Long had his suspension reduced from four to three games, which he began serving. … Angels SS David Eckstein was activated from the 15-day DL. … Ortiz is expected to rejoin the Angels in Seattle over the weekend though he may not pitch again until later in the week. … Dye is 3-for-5 following an 0-for-15 slump. … Tejada’s home run was the 154th of hiscareer, moving him into seventh place on Oakland’s career list.

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