for this game

Halladay outduels Harden, snaps Oakland's win streak at five

May 29, 2008 - 6:24 AM By Michael Duca PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Alex Rios, playing center field while gold glover Vernon Wells recuperates from a broken wrist, robbed the Oakland Athletics of a run with a running catch, then drove in the game winner in the ninth inning to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

It felt like old-fashioned baseball ... the two best pitching staffs in the American League, each starting their aces against the other. It turned out as good as advertised.

Roy Halladay and Rich Harden squared off at McAfee Coliseum. Harden blinked first, allowing three consecutive singles in the top of the third, with Shannon Stewart plating Brad Wilkerson with the game's first run.

"It's fun to compete in those situations," Halladay said. "I don't put a lot of focus on it (ace vs. ace) most pitchers will tell you 'I don't face the other pitcher, I face the lineup,' but you know that runs are going to matter more in a matchup like this."

The lead was very short-lived. Halladay surrendered a two-out ringing double to Bobby Crosby, and Jack Cust's single up the middle brought Crosby home with the tying run in the bottom of the third.

Emil Brown singled in the fourth, but Halladay (6-5) induced a double-play ball from Mark Ellis. Halladay struck out the side in the fifth.

Rios then saved Halladay and the Jays a pair of runs when he ran down Mark Ellis' drive to the left-field gap at the wall, leaving the game tied, 1-1. after six.

"The ball, here, at night, just hangs up there," Rios said. "I thought I had a good chance to get there. I'm going to go hard to every ball. It just went down into my glove. I was pretty close to the fence not close enough to worry, but close enough to think about the wall."

A's manager Bob Geren, and his entire bench, were certain they were watching a go-ahead double or better."I didn't think he was going to catch it," A's manager Bob Geren said, "I thought it was going over his head."

Harden, meanwhile, was equally effective, allowing only a Marco Scutaro double in innings four through seven, but he required 104 pitches in facing just three over the minimum in seven frames.

Harden entered Wednesday 17-3 in games where he pitched at least seven innings. Not this night, though, as Chad Gaudin relived him to start the eighth.

"It was a tough one today," Harden said. "I felt decent but I really wanted to go a little deeper. Overall I felt really strong. It feltlike I threw 50 pitches."

the Athletics' ace is still building arm strength after time on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.

"The first couple of starts I hit 70-80 pitches and started to feel it - like I had thrown 100 pitches," said Harden.

Gaudin retired the bottom of Toronto's order 1-2-3. Halladay, leading the AL in innings pitched, came out for the eighth; manager John Gibbons had not gotten a reliever up all evening.

With closer Huston Street unavailable after pitching in three straight games, Keith Foulke walked Shannon Stewart to start the ninth, and Aaron Hill sacrificed him to second. Alex Rios turned on a 1-2 changeup, pulling it over the bag and into the left field corner to score Stewart with the go-ahead run.

B.J. Ryan worked around a leadoff walk to earn his 12th save.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY, B.J. RYAN (9TH) AND ROD BARAJAS
    OAK - RICH HARDEN, CHAD GAUDIN (8TH), KEITH FOULKE
    (9TH) AND KURT SUZUKI

    HOME RUNS: TOR - NONE
    OAK - NONE

    May 29 12:40 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED SHANNON STEWART.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    OAKLAND 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: S ROLEN (.295, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays 2, Athletics 1  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 29 12:23 AM
  • 53
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 24 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jays 2, Athletics 1  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 29 12:23 AM
  • 77
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jays 1, Athletics 1  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 29 12:14 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACK CUST SCORED BOBBY CROSBY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CUST ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SWEENEY (.299, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays 1, Athletics 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 28 10:51 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SHANNON STEWART SCORED BRAD WILKERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S STEWART ON FIRST, R BARAJAS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.260, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays 1, Athletics 0  Top 3, 0 OutsMay 28 10:43 PM
  • 5
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsMay 28 8:25 PM