With two straight wins to start June, the Oakland Athletics were hoping to use the month as a springboard to climb back into the AL West race. Now, they’ll have to do so without All-Star third baseman Eric Chavez.
“I don’t know if I felt worse for myself or the team,” said Chavez, who found out Wednesday that he will miss up to six weeks with a broken hand. `In this case, time’s all you’ve got. … I don’t even want to guess. Hopefully, it heals quick and I’ll be ready to go.”
The A’s will begin life without their team leader when they open a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Network Associates Coliseum.
Chavez, who leads the A’s with 13 homers, 35 RBIs and 34 runs, was injured during Oakland’s 6-4, 12-inning win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. The Gold Glove third baseman was hit on the hand by a pitch in the 11th, and will wear a splint until June 21.
Chavez has a broken fifth metacarpal, right above his pinkie and ring finger. According to trainer Larry Davis, it was a “clean” break, meaning Chavez won’t need surgery to have a pin installed in the hand. He will have periodic X-rays while he recovers.
The A’s responded nicely without Chavez in the lineup on Wednesday, beating the White Sox 3-2 in 10 innings on Mark Kotsay’s first homer of the year.
“It was a good time for a first one. It was worth the wait,” Kotsay said after blasting Oakland’s second straight game-ending homer.
Bobby Kielty homered in the 12th to beat Chicago on Tuesday.
“I’m not that type of player who’s flashy or does spectacular things, but over the course of 162 games you might say, `He helped the team,”’ Kotsay said. “If you come here one night, you might think I’m the worst player in the big leagues. If you come here every night, you might think otherwise.”
After losing six in a row on the road, the Blue Jays won the final two games of their series in Seattle, including Wednesday’s 5-3 victory over the Mariners. Josh Phelps broke out of a 1-for-14 slump with a grand slam for Toronto, which improved to 2-1 on a seven-game road trip.