Oakland (74-55) at Toronto (64-65)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON, CA
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Sun Aug 24, 2003
  • TV: TSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Tim Hudson returns to the mound after missing his previous start due to a bruised right hand as the Oakland Athletics continue a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome.

Hudson was hit by a line drive in Oakland’s 6-4 win over Toronto last Saturday. The right-hander earned his third straight win and sixth in eight starts, allowing one run, two hits and striking out six over 6 1-3 innings.

Hudson’s previous start was a brilliant two-hitter in Oakland’s 4-0 victory over Pedro Martinez and the Boston Red Sox on August 11. Hudson was scheduled to match up with Martinez for the second time in ten days Tuesday, but the A’s decided to push him back to Sunday, giving him more time to recover.

Hudson says he is ready to go Sunday.

“When you get hit in the hands or wrists you always fear the worst,” Hudson said. “My fingers weren’t working but I didn’t think it was broken after we tested it out. It just hurt like crazy.”

Hudson’s return comes after the A’s learned that left-hander Mark Mulder, Oakland’s team leader with 15 wins, is likely out for the rest of the season. An MRI on Friday showed that Mulder has a stress fracture on his right hip.

“We don’t have Mulder going every fifth day for us now, but you can’t take on the burden of the whole team,” said Oakland’s Barry Zito on Friday. “We shouldn’t feel individually like we have to go out and pitch like two starting pitchers now.”

The A’s are 3-2 on their seven-game road trip despite not getting a win from any of their starters. Oakland’s bullpen is 3-0 with two saves and a 3.28 ERA during the trip.

The A’s moved within two games of Seattle for first place in the AL West with Saturday’s 11-5 win. Oakland remained tied with Boston for the top spot in the AL wild-card race.

STANDINGS: Athletics - 2nd place, 2 GB, AL West. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 15 GB, AL East.

ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Hudson (12-4, 2.48 ERA). Hudson is 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 10 career starts against the Blue Jays.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Kelvim Escobar (9-7, 3.94 ERA). Escobar allowed five runs and eight hits over six innings in Toronto’s 9-1 loss to Seattle on Tuesday. He is 2-3 with two saves and a 2.78 ERA in 13 career appearances, including four starts, against the A’s.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Athletics - Eric Chavez, .274 avg. and 23 HRs; Miguel Tejada, 78 RBIs and 73 runs; Eric Byrnes, 9 SBs. Blue Jays - Vernon Wells, .314 avg.; Carlos Delgado, 33 HRs, 117 RBIs and 98 runs; Bobby Kielty, 6 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Athletics, 3-2.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Athletics - OF Jermaine Dye (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. … LF Billy McMillon ended an 0-for-18 slump with his two-run double Saturday. … 1B Scott Hatteberg is day-to-day with a sore back. Blue Jays - RF Reed Johnson, who ended an 0-for-22 slump with a single Friday, went 2-for-4 with a run scored Saturday. … Former Blue Jays RHP Cory Lidle, who is out with an injured groin, said he’ll be ready to pitch Monday, and can’t wait to face his former team. … Lidle’s return means RHP Josh Towers will not start again, but manager Carlos Tosca said he’ll remain with the team as a middle reliever.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Athletics - 30-34 on the road; Blue Jays - 29-34 at home.

INJURIES: Athletics - OF Dye (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Mulder (hip), 15-day DL. Blue Jays - RHP Cory Lidle (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Hudson SF vs. K. Escobar MIL
16-7 Record 13-9
2.70 ERA 4.29
162 K 159
61 BB 78
1.08 WHIP 1.48