OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Alex Rios shrugged as he pulled his polo
shirt over his head and smiled weakly.
He wasn't going to analyze why he was able to return from the
disabled list with such a bang."I felt pretty good; I don't know why," Rios said after
driving in two runs in the Toronto Blue Jays' 4-3 victory over the
Oakland Athletics on Friday night. "It's great to come back and
help the team win."Rios, who missed 26 games with a staph infection, had his rehab
assignment cut short because of rain on Thursday night and didn't
feel like he got enough at bats."I did take BP but I would have liked a few more [at bats],"
he said. "It was OK."After flying out in his first plate appearance, Rios singled in
runs his next two trips."You never know how a guy will come back," Blue Jays' manager
John Gibbons said. "Just having him out on the field gave us a
good look. He didn't miss a beat."B.J. Ryan recorded a two-inning save, the 10th time he's gotten
one pitching more than an inning.Ryan started the eighth inning for Toronto and loaded the bases
on two singles and a one-out intentional walk. The hard-throwing
closer got Mark Ellis to ground into a double play and worked a
hitless ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances."We were a little short-handed in the bullpen and B.J. had
enough rest," Gibbons said. "This was a game I thought we needed
to have and that was kind of a turning point."Frank Thomas cut the lead to 4-3 for Oakland with his 471st
career home run, a solo shot in the sixth off relief pitcher Scott
Downs (5-1). Thomas is four homers shy of Willie Stargell and Stan
Musial for 23rd all-time."That's probably the longest one [I hit in Oakland]," Thomas
said. "I knew he had to pitch. He didn't want to put any runners
on the basepaths."Ryan got Thomas to fly out to center field to end the game with
a runner on."I love being up there in those situations," Thomas said.
"[Ryan] got a little crafty there. He pitches in a rhythm that is
tough to time. You can't sit back on him because he'll jump at you with the
slider."Ellis added two RBI as the A's lost their fourth game in the
last six and fell a half game behind first-place Los Angeles in the
AL West.Oakland starter Esteban Loaiza (4-7) failed to last six innings
for his fifth straight start. After giving up four runs on eight
hits, he now has a 7.40 ERA (20 runs in 24 1-3 innings) over that
span. Loaiza walked two and struck out three."A couple of mistakes and that's what happens," A's manager
Ken Macha said. "They turn it over to their bullpen and they got
the outs."Toronto starter Shaun Marcum lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up two
runs on five hits in his third career start.A's reliever Kiko Calero pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings and has
allowed one run in his last 24 innings.Rios gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the fourth with a single to
score Troy Glaus, who doubled to lead off the inning. Rios went
2-for-4 with a run scored.Ellis put the A's on top with his two-run single in the sixth.
Nick Swisher singled and Eric Chavez doubled to start the rally.
Chavez recorded just his third extra-base hit in July but extended
his hitting streak to six games after recording six hits in his
previous 14 games.A three-run rally in the sixth gave the Blue Jays a 4-2 edge and
ended Loaiza's night early for the fifth straight start. Rios and
John McDonald singled home runs and Vernon Wells, who singled to
extend his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games, scored when
Milton Bradley misplayed Glaus' single.
Game Notes A power outage at the Coliseum during the bottom of the
fourth inning caused a 15-minute delay and knocked KICU off the air
for a half-hour. The outage was caused when a vehicle hit a power
pole just north of the Coliseum and affected the entire grid. ...
The As recalled RHP Shane Komine from Triple-A Sacramento and hell
make his major league debut in Sundays finale. ... Speier has 25
strikeouts in his last 17 innings. ... Wells is 22-for-55 (.400)
during his streak. ... Chavez tied an Oakland with his 59th
consecutive errorless game at third base. ... The Blue Jays are
11-4 in one-run games.