Hatteberg helps A#039;s hammer Reds

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 8, 2004

OAKLAND, Calif. - The way Scott Hatteberg has been hitting, the Oakland Athletics haven't missed Eric Chavez a bit.

With their All-Star third baseman out with a broken hand, the A's have turned to Hatteberg for their big hits, and he has delivered. Hatteberg hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs Monday night to lead Oakland to a 13-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

''I haven't tried to do anything different than I did in the past,'' said Hatteberg, who has 11 RBIs the past three games. ''When we have an opportunity to score, and we're not going to have as many with Eric gone, we have to come through with the big hit.''

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The A's got plenty of those on a night when starter Mark Mulder stalled Ken Griffey Jr.'s run for 500 homers.

With more than 20 friends and family members in attendance in anticipation of the milestone, Griffey went 1-for-3 and remained stuck at 498 home runs.

Mulder (7-2) didn't figure to be the pitcher to allow the historic home run to Griffey, having not given up a homer to a lefty since last July 19.

''I just threw him a lot of sinkers,'' Mulder said. ''If he was going to hit a home run I wanted it to be off my best pitch.''

Griffey singled and scored in the second and grounded out twice before being replaced in the sixth inning trailing 11-2. He'll try again Tuesday night against Barry Zito.

Mark Kotsay, Erubiel Durazo and Damian Miller also homered for the A's, who have won six of seven to move a season-high eight games over .500. Rookie Bobby Crosby had his second straight three-hit game as Oakland roughed up former teammate Cory Lidle (4-5) to improve to 13-0 against the NL Central.

After being held to 10 runs in their first four games without Chavez, Oakland has broken through for 21 runs the past two days.

''I think we're swinging the bats the way we're capable of,'' Hatteberg said. ''Tonight everybody swung the bat well. We've turned it up as a team since losing Eric.''

The offensive feast made for an easy night for Mulder, who allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings to win his fifth straight decision.

Lidle allowed nine runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings in another rough start against the A's. In two games against Oakland since being traded to Toronto after the 2002 season, Lidle is 0-2 with an 18.78 ERA.

''This is not what I thought would happen,'' Lidle said. ''It's about as bad command as I've ever had. It was the first time in my life as a pitcher that I had no clue where my pitches would go.''

He never found a groove, falling behind 2-0 just three batters in on Kotsay's second home run this season. He struggled with his control, too, walking three, hitting a batter and throwing three wild pitches.

Oakland loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning but Lidle appeared to be on his way out of the jam when he struck out Kotsay and Jermaine Dye. Hatteberg then hit a drive down the right-field line for his third career grand slam to make it 6-1.

''That was a bit of a turning point,'' Hatteberg said. ''If he could have gotten out of that he could have gained some confidence.''

Lidle's second wild pitch allowed Eric Byrnes to score in the third and Hatteberg knocked him out with an RBI double.

''It's very untypical of him, especially the way he's pitched this year,'' manager Dave Miley said. ''He's pitched great for us - just not tonight. I guess he didn't have a feel for it.''

Durazo greeted Joe Valentine with his ninth homer to make it 10-1. Miller added an RBI double in the inning and a two-run homer in the sixth.

Adam Dunn hit an RBI double in the second and Sean Casey hit a solo homer in the sixth for the Reds.

Cincinnati third baseman Brendan Larson had the defensive highlight making a long run before diving over the tarp to catch a foul ball from Billy McMillon to end the seventh despite trailing 13-2.

''I was surprised I didn't get hurt,'' Larson said.

Notes: Griffey, who spent his first 11 seasons with the AL's Seattle Mariners, has 28 career homers against the A's, including 11 in the Coliseum. … The Reds played their first game in Oakland since completing a sweep with a win in Game 4 of the 1990 World Series. … Oakland, which has the best interleague record of all-time at 76-47, improved to 37-9 at home against the NL since the start of 1999. … Reds SS Barry Larkin started for the first time since last Tuesday. He had been slowed by a sore abdominal muscle. Larkin went 0-for-3.