Athletics 7, Blue Jays 3
“It’s nice to get anything off Halladay,” said Long, who is 5-for-12 against the Blue Jays’ ace. “You hope for a few breaks when you play him.”
Barry Zito pitched seven solid innings, winning his second start in a row following a career-worst five-game losing streak.
Ramon Hernandez hit a two-run single for Oakland, which remained four games behind first-place Seattle in the AL West but moved into a tie with Boston in the wild card race.
Halladay, trying to become the AL’s first 17-game winner, lasted a season-low three innings. He gave up seven runs—five earned—and 10 hits, including nine singles.
“It was just a bad day all around,” Halladay said. “I felt like I could have made better pitches, and they got key groundball hits that hurt us.”
It was Halladay’s third loss in four starts since his 15-game winning streak. He has lost two starts in a row for the first time this season.
Zito (10-10) allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts. He improved to 4-1 in seven career starts against the Blue Jays.
“With Halladay on the mound, you’re hoping for a few runs,” Zito said. “We got more than that and it took the pressure off a little bit. You still can’t take them lightly though.”
“I’ve been asking a lot out of Foulke,” said A’s manager Ken Macha, who has used his closer in four of the past six games. “I would have liked to have given him yesterday or today off, but that didn’t work out. He’s been tremendous.”
Halladay (16-5) walked one and struck out three. He was hurt early by some poor defense, an infield double and a bloop single.
“He didn’t pitch that bad,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “We didn’t catch the ball very well. There was some sloppy play.”
A throwing error by first baseman Josh Phelps helped Oakland load the bases in the second inning. Long’s high bouncer just eluded second baseman Hudson, resulting in a two-run double on a ball that barely made the outfield grass.
Zito was barely tested by the Blue Jays. After the second inning, he did not allow a batter past first base until the seventh. Carlos Delgado singled home Mike Bordick in the first, but Zito didn’t allow another hit until Bobby Kielty’s RBI double in the seventh.
It was his shortest outing since going three innings against Tampa Bay on Sept. 23, 2000, 78 starts ago.
Phelps also drove in a run for the Blue Jays.
Bordick has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games. … Toronto OF Vernon Wells had his 11-game hitting streak stopped. … Zito is 46-3 in 59 career starts when he gets at least four runs of support. … 3B Eric Chavez had his 32nd multihit game, tying him with Hatteberg for the team lead. … Halladay was 0-2 in his first six starts before his 15-game winning streak. … Kielty’s double ended an 0-for-14 skid. … RHP Pete Walker is tentatively scheduled to come off the disabled list and start Saturday in Toronto againstOakland. … Long is a career .313 hitter (40-for-128) against the Blue Jays.