Mulder tossed a five-hitter for his major league-leading seventh complete game as the
, 5-2, in the rubber game of their midweek series.
Mulder (12-6) struck out five and walked one as he improved to 6-0 in six career appearances against Tampa Bay and 8-1 at home this season. The All-Star lefthander joined Toronto's
as the American League's only 12-game winners.
"Another terrific outing for him," A's manager
said. "He's pleading his case to be one of the guys to start the All-Star Game. He certainly pitched like a guy who should be honored like that."
"I felt good the entire game," Mulder added. "Every pitch I was throwing was going my way and I left nothing over the plate. I had my command today."
Tampa Bay took a short-lived 1-0 lead in the top of the first on
's two-out home run before Oakland countered with four runs in the bottom of the frame against
"We gave (Mulder a) few runs in the first inning and he took it and ran with it," Macha said.
Mulder did not allow another hit until
doubled with two outs in the seventh inning.
"I wanted to get in and then get as fast as possible," Mulder said. "I want to finish games. I want to do it every time I'm out there. I want to be as dominating out there as possible. When you get a lead like that, all you want to do is keep them off-balance and pitch your game."
"Mulder was nasty," Tampa Bay catcher
said. "He had great stuff. He's the toughest lefty in the league."
Oakland opened a 5-1 advantage in the fifth inning when Durazo reached second on a two-out throwing error by third baseman
and scored on a single by Chavez.
Sosa surrendered five runs - four earned - and 11 hits in six innings for Tampa Bay, which failed in a bid to win its third straight series. Sosa was 1-1 with a 0.79 ERA in his previous two starts.
"It was a bad first inning for Sosa, (but) after that, he settled down and pitched well,"
said. "This has happened several times this year, his first inning is pretty rough. His velocity is always lower in the first and then it picks up. We don't know what causes this.
"But their pitcher pitched pretty well against us today. What did we get, five hits out of the infield? He dominated us. And we didn't have too much offensive."
With two outs in the top of the eighth, a woman ran onto the field and did a cartwheel before coming onto the mound and asking Mulder for the ball. She immediately was escorted away by security officers.
It was the latest in a series of incidents this season at Network Associates Coliseum. On Tuesday, a fan threw a "cherry bomb" from the upper deck to the lower level that injuried an 8-year-old boy.
"It was harmless enough, but they're not all harmless," Hatteberg said. "You have to be tough across the board. She asked (Mulder) for the ball. She wanted him to throw it to her. Maybe he should have thrown at her so it nicked her between the eyes."
"At least she could have taken her top off and then run out on the field," Hall added. "That would have been vastly more entertaining."