Phillies 6, Athletics 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Robinson Tejeda left the game but he never left the dugout. The rookie right-hander wanted to soak in as much as he could.
Tejeda watched as his Philadelphia teammates scored five runs in the seventh inning to help him secure his first major league win, and the Phillies beat the Oakland Athletics 6-1 Friday night.
“This is a great moment,” said Tejeda, who plans to give the game ball to his mother—who has never seen him pitch professionally—when he returns to the Dominican Republic next winter. “I want to stay here for as long as I can.”
Tejeda, signed in 1998, made his major league debut a month ago. He is yet to allow a run in two starts.
“He has a chance to be very good,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He has the stuff, he’s pretty cool and he’s composed.”
Tejeda (1-0) gave up four hits and walked three in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out one.
“Kenny Lofton told me to go get my workout in, that my job was finished,” Tejeda said. “I said, ‘No, I’m like you now, I want to cheer for the team.’ I stayed right there and enjoyed it. When you see your team working so hard, it makes you want to work harder, too.”
After waiting so long to reach the majors, Tejeda made sure to enjoy the game.
“When I was getting on the plane after getting the call, I was talking out loud to myself,” Tejeda said. “I kept saying, ‘I’m going to the big leagues, can you believe that?’ Every year this is what I wanted, and when I didn’t make it, I told myself to try again the next year.”
“He’s been good but he’s got a long way to go,” Pratt said, referring to Tejeda. “He’s got a lively fastball and movement on his changeup. He was able to get some groundballs when he got in trouble.”
Mark Kotsay had two hits for the A’s, who lost their second straight following wins in eight of their previous nine home games. After playing in Philadelphia from 1901-54, the A’s were in Kansas City from 1955-67, then arrived in Oakland for the 1968 season.
After walking Jason Michaels with one out in the first, Barry Zito (3-8) retired his next 12 batters, striking out seven, but got into trouble in the fifth. David Bell drew a one-out walk, Utley doubled and Bell scored on Pratt’s slow roller to the left side, which Zito fielded and tossed to third for an out.
Oakland got its leadoff hitter on in five of the first six innings against Tejeda and had runners in scoring position in four of those. But Tejeda, who did not pitch above Class-A during his first five years as a pro, kept getting out of trouble.
“Tejeda made some nice pitches,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “I watched him on tape a couple of days ago and he had good movement on the ball.”
Philadelphia broke the game open with five runs in the seventh. After Pat Burrell and Jim Thome singled, Burrell scored from third when Zito threw a pitch over Jason Kendall’s head. Bell singled and Utley followed with a one-hop double off the right-center wall that made it 3-0 and chased Zito.
“It spiraled out of control after Thome’s hit,” Zito said. “You can weep over your sorrows and pity yourself but if you do that you’ll end up in a mental hospital.”
Three Phillies relievers finished the five-hitter.
Phillies RHP Tim Worrell, on the DL for personal reasons since May 6, will begin a rehab assignment as soon as possible. He has returned to the team. … A’s RHP Juan Cruz was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento and RHP Tim Harikkala was designated for assignment. LHP Ron Flores and RHP Jairo Garcia were recalled from Sacramento and each made their major league debuts. … Former Philadelphia Athletics player Eddie Joost (1947-53) threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … A’s RHP Rich Harden struck out seven and allowed one hit in three scoreless innings of a rehab assignment with Sacramento. … Phillies C Mike Lieberthal was given the night off.