Ellis leads Oakland to victory

CLEVELAND -- The Oakland A's kept the Cleveland Indians from popping champagne Saturday.

An early misplay on Mark Ellis' easy infield fly doomed Cleveland, Dan Haren pitched six strong innings and Jack Cust homered as the Athletics delayed the Indians from winning the AL Central with a 9-3 victory on Saturday night.

Ellis homered and drove in three runs as the A's built a 6-0 lead and spoiled Cleveland's plans of wrapping up its first division title since 2001 and partying until Sunday's early hours.

"It wasn't in the cards for us," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

But the Indians' magic number was lowered to one when second-place Detroit lost 7-4 at home to Kansas City.

Haren (15-8), the AL's starter in the All-Star game, won for the first time in six starts since Aug. 21. The right-hander, battling Cleveland's Fausto Carmona for the league's ERA title, allowed two runs and seven hits.

"I've struggled to pick up a win of late, but to be honest I probably had my worst stuff that I've had in a month," Haren said.

Ellis gave the A's a 3-0 lead in the fourth with his 19th homer, a leadoff shot that landed on the home run porch in left. Oakland chased Paul Byrd in the fifth with three runs, two on an RBI double by Ellis.