TORONTO (AP) -- Nick Swisher took all the razzing in stride and
ended up with a night he'll never forget.
Swisher doubled and walked twice in his major league debut and
Bobby Kielty hit a go-ahead homer off Ted Lilly -- the pitcher he
was traded for -- to lead the Oakland Athletics past the Toronto
Blue Jays 7-4 on Friday night.
"The feeling is just unbelievable. Just to get the first hit
out of the away was awesome. I was so nervous I was shaking my
first at-bat," Swisher said.
Swisher, who was prominently featured in Michael Lewis' book
"Moneyball," finished 1-for-3 with two walks. He walked in his
first plate appearance, doubled for his first major league hit in
the fourth and walked on four pitches in the sixth.
Swisher's father and step mom traveled from Parkersburg, W.Va.,
to see him, and four college buddies drove up from Columbus, Ohio.
"To be able to have my father see that, it's something I worked
for my whole life," Swisher said. "It gives me goose bumps just
thinking about it."
Veteran Mark McLemore made Swisher wear a taped helmet with the
word "rookie" on the front of it while he took batting practice.
Swisher was also fined in Kangaroo Court by his teammates,
including a $100 fine for getting into the lineup in his first day
in the majors. He was also fined a $100 for getting called up just
because he works the count.
"Swish has a lot of big league in him," Oakland starter Tim
Hudson said. "He has a swagger about him, which a lot of great
players do, even though he's a rookie. He's going to definitely
take his lumps in the clubhouse, that's for sure, there's no
question about that."
Hudson won his fourth straight start for the AL West-leading
A's, who won for the 15th time in 17 games.
Kielty's two-run homer off Lilly (9-10) gave Oakland a 5-4 lead
in the sixth. The A's swapped Lilly for Kielty in the offseason.
"It was definitely strange. He's the guy I got traded for,"
said Kielty, who went 3-for-4, improving his average to .211.
"It's definitely been a miserable year. To have a day like that
helps me out."
Lilly, an All-Star this year, allowed five runs on 10 hits in
"That was a game I really wanted to win, especially considering
how hard we worked to score four runs against a tough pitcher,"
Hudson (11-4) allowed four runs on eight hits in seven innings
and Octavio Dotel pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 22
Carlos Delgado homered for the last-place Blue Jays, who have
lost seven of 10.
Delgado led of the second with a homer off Hudson, the first
homer he's allowed in 13 starts -- a span of 96 1-3 innings or 402
at-bats. Minnesota's Jacque Jones homered off Hudson May 8.
Lilly loaded the bases in the third before Scott Hatteberg hit a
game-tying RBI single.
Swisher led off the fourth with his double and scored on Eric
Byrnes' double. Kielty followed with an RBI single.
Swisher walked in the sixth before Kielty homered over the
center field wall to give Oakland the lead for good.
"He was battling, he never found his groove," Blue Jays
interim manager John Gibbons said of Lilly. "He kept us in the
game until that big home run did us in."
Toronto pinch-hitter Russ Adams singled in his first major
league at-bat in the ninth.
Oakland RF Jermaine Dye left the game in the sixth. Dye
missed the previous three games because of a fracture in his left
thumb. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, and is in a 5-for-39
slump. Kotsay, who has been bothered by a bruised left knee,
replaced Dye. ... Oakland DH Erubiel Durazo didn't play because of
a sore back.