Blue Jays 6, Athletics 3

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TORONTO (AP)—Barry Zito’s night got worse when he found out that Mark Mulder was likely out for the rest of the season.

Roy Halladay won his AL-leading 17th game as the Toronto Blue Jays beat Zito and the Oakland Athletics 6-3 Friday night.

Oakland manager Ken Macha held a team meeting before the game to tell his players that Mulder has a stress fracture in his right hip, a startling injury that will likely sideline the ace for the rest of the season.

A’s general manager Billy Beane said during the game that they were “resigned” to the fact that Mulder is probably done for the season.

“Is it the rest of the year? Is that what he said?” Zito said. “Wow, we didn’t hear that. We heard that we were going to monitor his condition. That’s tough.”

The A’s began the day with a one-game lead over Boston in the AL wild-card race.

Mulder is 15-9 with a 3.13 ERA in 26 starts, and leads the majors with nine complete games.

Mulder was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of tendinitis in his right hip. The Athletics originally expected him to miss only two starts, and were surprised when the fracture showed up later on an MRI.

“We shouldn’t feel that individually we have to pitch like two starting pitchers now,” Zito said.

Halladay (17-5) outpitched Zito, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out eight and walking none in six innings. He is tied with Atlanta’s Russ Ortiz for the major league lead for wins.

Zito (10-11) gave up five runs on six hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings.

Halladay said losing Mulder will hurt.

“That’s huge for them,” Halladay said. “It’s got to be disappointing to have one of your leaders get hurt like that, but they have a lot of other good pitchers. It is tough though to see an important guy get hurt.”

Vernon Wells went 3-for-5 for the Blue Jays, who have won three straight.

Down 3-1 in the sixth, the Blue Jays rallied with four runs. Wells led off with a single and Carlos Delgado followed with an RBI double.

Zito walked Tom Wilson and threw a wild pitch before Bobby Kielty hit a tying, RBI single. Chris Woodward followed with an run-scoring single, and an out later Kevin Cash hit an RBI infield single off Chad Bradford, giving Toronto a 5-3 lead.

The A’s loaded the bases in the eighth, but Trever Miller got pinch-hitter Eric Byrnes to pop up in the infield to end the threat.

Aquilino Lopez came on with a runner on first in the ninth and got two outs for his sixth save.

Toronto’s Reed Johnson walked with two outs in the bottom half, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on Eric Hinske’s RBI double, giving Toronto a 6-3 lead.

Johnson ended an 0-for-22 slump with a single in the third before Zito walked Dave Berg and Wells hit a run-scoring double for his career-high 101st RBI.

Erubiel Durazo’s RBI grounder and Ramon Hernandez’s run-scoring single gave Oakland a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

Miguel Tejada homered off Halladay in the sixth, his 19th.

Notes

Oakland’s Tim Hudson said he’ll be ready to pitch on Sunday. Hudson, hit on the hand by a line drive last Saturday, was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday against the Red Sox. … Tejada has 10 career home runs at SkyDome. … Tejada went 2-for-3 with a walk. … Toronto reliever Cliff Politte returned after missing three games to be with his wife, who gave birth to a boy. Politte hit Hernandez with a pitch to load the bases in the eighth. It was the only batter he faced. … Oakland’s Scott Hatteberg left the game inthe eighth because of a sore back. He’s day-to-day.

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