Athletics 9, Blue Jays 5

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TORONTO (AP)—The Oakland Athletics didn’t think they deserved this victory.

The A’s scored twice on wild pitches to tie it, and Eric Byrnes provided insurance with a three-run double in the ninth, propelling the A’s past Toronto 9-5 on Saturday, their 16th win in 18 games.

“It was an undeserved win,” Oakland’s Scott Hatteberg said. “We didn’t give up, but we were helped out by them too.”

Oakland pulled within 5-4 in the eighth on a wild pitch from Vinnie Chulk, then tied it in the ninth on another miscue by Jason Frasor. Mark McLemore put the A’s ahead with a sacrifice fly before Byrnes doubled over left fielder Reed Johnson, who came in on the ball at first, then watched it sail over his head.

“I looked and he was just standing there. Luckily, it sailed over his head and that was that,” Byrnes said.

Billy McMillon led off the ninth with a double off Frasor (4-5), who then hit Bobby Crosby with a pitch before Mark Kotsay advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt.

With McLemore batting, Frasor sent a pitch past catcher Kevin Cash, allowing pinch-runner Nick Swisher to tie the score at 5-all. McLemore’s fly ball to center scored Crosby with the go-ahead run.

Frasor then walked Eric Chavez, allowed a single to Scott Hatteberg and walked Durazo before Byrnes hit his double.

“Everything went wrong at the beginning of the game and everything went right at the end,” said Oakland starter Mark Mulder, who failed to become the major’s first 18-game winner. He allowed five runs on 10 hits.

Chris Hammond (4-1) pitched two innings for the win.

Oakland began the comeback in the eighth when Chavez scored on Durazo’s RBI grounder. Hatteberg then made it 5-4 when he scored on Chulk’s wild pitch.

“Those freebie things always hurt you in close games,” Blue Jays interim manager John Gibbons said.

Cash homered for the last-place Blue Jays, who have lost eight of 11.

Oakland right fielder Jermaine Dye missed the game because of a fractured left thumb and isn’t expected to be back in the lineup anytime soon.

Cash’s two-run homer off Mulder in the sixth gave Toronto a 5-2 lead. It was just his fourth home run of the season and his first since June 24 against Tampa Bay.

Alex Rios hit an RBI grounder in the first, and Delgado singled home a run in the third.

Orlando Hudson and Vernon Wells hit consecutive doubles in the fifth, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead.

Batista loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but Kotsay flew out to shallow center field and Mark McLemore struck out swinging to end the threat.

Damian Miller hit a two-run double in the sixth for the A’s, cutting it to 3-2.

Notes

Dye left Friday’s game in the sixth inning because of soreness in his thumb. He also missed the previous three games and has been bothered by it for about a month. He broke it while diving for a ball in early August. “It’s probably going to be awhile before he gets back in there,” manager Ken Macha said.

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