Final

Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 6/4)

Game 1: Thursday, June 3
Toronto1Final
in 11
Oakland2
Game 2: Friday, June 4
Toronto6Final
Oakland1
Game 3: Saturday, June 5
Toronto0Final
Oakland4
Game 4: Sunday, June 6
Toronto3Final
Oakland8

Blue Jays 6

(25-30, 11-16 away)

Athletics 1

(29-24, 15-10 home)

    10:05 PM ET, June 4, 2004

    O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 000010032 6 10 0
    OAK 000100000 1 8 1

    W: J. Towers (1-1)

    L: C. Bradford (3-2)

    S: V. Chulk (1)

    Toronto gets eight win in last 11

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- After facing Rich Harden's hard stuff, Eric Hinske had to adjust when submariner Chad Bradford came in for Oakland.

    Hinske fouled off tough pitch after tough pitch before finally getting a mistake and hitting a tiebreaking homer for Toronto in the eighth inning. He added a two-run double in the ninth to help the Blue Jays beat the Athletics 6-1 Friday night.

    Hinske fouled off five pitches from Bradford (3-2), including three straight, before hitting his fifth home run of the season.

    "With two strikes, I'm just trying to protect," Hinske said. "He threw some tough backdoor sliders that I fouled off. He left one up over the plate and I was able to connect."

    Toronto scored five runs in the final two frames to snap Oakland's eight-game home winning streak. The A's won the last five of those games in extra innings, including the previous three days.

    It looked as if Oakland was on its way to another extra-inning contest before Hinske's homer.

    "I didn't make the pitch to put him away," Bradford said. "I felt if I could have made the perfect pitch, I could get a popup or a groundball but it didn't work out."

    Josh Towers (1-1) won in his return to the big leagues. Demoted to the minors after getting roughed up in two April starts, Towers allowed only a leadoff homer to Jermaine Dye in the fourth inning. The right-hander gave up six hits in seven innings.

    Towers, who sat on the bench the first two weeks of the season before making his two starts, credits the steady work in the minors for his success.

    "I wasn't consistently pitching," he said. "I built up my arm strength and got my feel back on my pitches. That's the difference."

    Toronto added two more runs in the inning on a throwing error by third baseman Esteban German and an RBI single by Gregg Zaun. German was called up earlier this week to replace injured Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez.

    Hinske added a two-run double in the ninth off Chris Hammond. The 2002 AL Rookie of the Year raised his average to .224 and has 24 RBI this season.

    "I went the other way my last at-bat," he said. "That's usually a sign of good things."

    Vinnie Chulk pitched two innings for his first career save.

    Once again, a strong performance by an A's starter went for naught. Harden allowed one run and four hits in seven innings -- the seventh straight no-decision for an Oakland starter. A's starters have a 1.84 ERA in that stretch, the longest without a decision since the team moved to Oakland in 1968.

    "He had good stuff," manager Ken Macha said. "I thought he was perfect around the strike zone for the most part."

    A sluggish offense again did in the A's. Oakland loaded the bases with two outs after Dye's homer in the fourth but came up empty when Mark Kotsay grounded out to end the threat.

    "He got the ball over the plate," Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said, referring to Towers. "We got seven good innings out of him. You can't ask for anything better."

    The A's also left runners in scoring position in the second, third and fifth innings. Oakland, which stranded 11 runners in all, came in ranked last in the AL with a .241 average with runners in scoring position.

    "Our bats are going to come along," Harden said. "It's not something we're really worried about."

    The Blue Jays tied it in the fifth when Harden had trouble with his control. Josh Phelps and Simon Pond drew consecutive one-out walks before Chris Gomez's grounder up the middle eluded shortstop Bobby Crosby for an RBI single.

    Harden recovered to get Alexis Rios to hit into an inning-ending double play.

    Game notes


    Opponents are hitting .205 the first time through the lineup against Harden. ... Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado was sent back to Toronto before the game for treatment on his injured right rib cage. ... A's starters went six games without a decision in July 1996. ... Vernon Wells got his 500th career hit for Toronto.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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