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Zito wins second straight after five-game skid

8/18/2003

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Not many hitters look comfortable against
Roy Halladay. Terrence Long is one of them.

Long drove in three runs, and the Oakland Athletics roughed up
Halladay in a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

"It's nice to get anything off Halladay," said Long, who is
5-for-12 against the Blue Jays' ace. "You hope for a few breaks
when you play him."

Barry Zito pitched seven solid innings, winning his second start
in a row following a career-worst five-game losing streak.

Ramon Hernandez hit a two-run single for Oakland, which remained
four games behind first-place Seattle in the AL West but moved into
a tie with Boston in the wild card race.

Halladay, trying to become the AL's first 17-game winner, lasted
a season-low three innings. He gave up seven runs -- five earned --
and 10 hits, including nine singles.

"It was just a bad day all around," Halladay said. "I felt
like I could have made better pitches, and they got key groundball
hits that hurt us."

It was Halladay's third loss in four starts since his 15-game
winning streak. He has lost two starts in a row for the first time
this season.

Zito (10-10) allowed three runs on four hits with three walks
and six strikeouts. He improved to 4-1 in seven career starts
against the Blue Jays.

"With Halladay on the mound, you're hoping for a few runs,"
Zito said. "We got more than that and it took the pressure off a
little bit. You still can't take them lightly though."

Chad Bradford worked a perfect eighth, and Keith Foulke got the
final out for his 31st save in 36 tries. He retired Orlando Hudson
on an easy fly with the bases loaded to end it.

"I've been asking a lot out of Foulke," said A's manager Ken
Macha, who has used his closer in four of the past six games. "I
would have liked to have given him yesterday or today off, but that
didn't work out. He's been tremendous."

Halladay (16-5) walked one and struck out three. He was hurt
early by some poor defense, an infield double and a bloop single.

"He didn't pitch that bad," Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.
"We didn't catch the ball very well. There was some sloppy play."

A throwing error by first baseman Josh Phelps helped Oakland
load the bases in the second inning. Long's high bouncer just
eluded second baseman Hudson, resulting in a two-run double on a
ball that barely made the outfield grass.

Zito was barely tested by the Blue Jays. After the second
inning, he did not allow a batter past first base until the
seventh. Carlos Delgado singled home Mike Bordick in the first, but
Zito didn't allow another hit until Bobby Kielty's RBI double in
the seventh.

The first four A's singled and scored to open the third,
including Hernandez's two-run single. Scott Hatteberg, Chris
Singleton and Long also drove in runs as the A's batted around to
chase Halladay.

It was his shortest outing since going three innings against
Tampa Bay on Sept. 23, 2000, 78 starts ago.

Phelps also drove in a run for the Blue Jays.

Game notes
Bordick has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games. ...
Toronto OF Vernon Wells had his 11-game hitting streak stopped. ...
Zito is 46-3 in 59 career starts when he gets at least four runs of
support. ... 3B Eric Chavez had his 32nd multihit game, tying him
with Hatteberg for the team lead. ... Halladay was 0-2 in his first
six starts before his 15-game winning streak. ... Kielty's double
ended an 0-for-14 skid. ... RHP Pete Walker is tentatively
scheduled to come off the disabled list and start Saturday in
Toronto against Oakland. ... Long is a career .313 hitter
(40-for-128) against the Blue Jays.