Baseball: Oakland set record in roller-coaster win

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The Independent Online

What looked like it would be an easy and historic victory for the Oakland Athletics eventually turned out to be fraught with difficulty.

Oakland set an American League record by winning their 20th successive game on Wednesday night, but nearly managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They somehow contrived to lose an 11-run lead before the pinch-hitter, Scott Hatteberg, hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Kansas City 12-11 .

With the largest regular-season crowd in Coliseum history – 55,528 – cheering the final game of a historic run, the A's took an 11-0 lead after three innings. Then, after the Royals tied it on a two-out, RBI single by Luis Alicea in the top of the ninth, the Athletics won in the bottom half for the third consecutive game.

The previous longest winning streak in American League history – 19 games – was set by the Chicago White Sox in 1906 and the New York Yankees in 1947. The major league record of 26 consecutive victories was set by the New York Giants in 1916.