Toronto (28-26) at Oakland (29-23)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed May 28, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t want Frank Thomas on the field by the third week of the season. They’re happy to keep Roy Halladay out there for as long as possible.

Thomas, now with the Oakland Athletics, may be not be in the starting lineup Wednesday night when Halladay looks to give the Blue Jays another long outing as the teams continue their series.

Thomas, playing on his 40th birthday, suffered a slight strain of his right quadriceps in Oakland’s 3-1 win over Toronto (28-26) on Tuesday night. He left in the fifth inning in his first game against the Blue Jays since being released by Toronto on April 20.

“I hope it’s not serious because I feel like I was the old me in the box. I was feeling good,” said Thomas, who is batting .319 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in his second stint with Oakland. “I hope it’s just a strain.”

Before the game, Thomas said he had no hard feelings about his departure from the Blue Jays last month. Toronto granted him his release after he became upset about a lack of playing time.

“At the time it really wasn’t working for us,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We wanted to go in a different direction. We were struggling offensively at the time and were in a position we felt we couldn’t wait.”

It’s uncertain if Thomas will be in the lineup against Halladay (5-5, 3.11 ERA), who continues to pitch deep into games. He is coming off his major league-leading fifth complete game, a four-hitter with seven strikeouts as Toronto beat Kansas City 7-1 on Friday night.

Halladay, whose 116 wins are tied with Jimmy Key for third on Toronto’s all-time list, led the majors with seven complete games last season.

The right-hander pitched nine innings in his last start against Oakland (29-23), but that wasn’t good enough to be credited with a complete game as Toronto lost 5-4 in 11 innings. He gave up four runs and seven hits in that game, and is 4-4 with a 5.35 ERA in 11 career starts versus the A’s.

Halladay will try to get the Blue Jays back on track after their five-game winning streak ended Tuesday. It was the opener of a nine-game road trip.

Oakland, meanwhile, extended its home winning streak to five games. Jack Hannahan had an RBI double and Bobby Crosby also drove in a run for the A’s.

First baseman Daric Barton went 1-for-3 in his return to the starting lineup after recovering from tonsillitis that kept him out of the previous three games, except for a pinch-hit appearance. The 22-year-old rookie has been in a terrible slump, batting .087 (4-for-46) in his last 16 games to drop his average from .259 to .213.

The A’s will try to extend their home win streak behind Rich Harden (3-0, 2.93 ERA), who has given up two runs or less in four of his five starts. He has pitched particularly well at home, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in three starts.

The right-hander, who spent time on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, has 36 strikeouts in 27 2-3 innings. Harden allowed two runs and four hits while striking out eight in six innings to earn a win as Oakland beat Boston 8-3 on Friday night.

Harden, though, is 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA in five starts against the Blue Jays.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Halladay Tor vs. R. Harden Min
20-11 Record 10-2
2.78 ERA 2.07
206 K 181
39 BB 61
1.05 WHIP 1.06


Wednesday, May 28