TORONTO (AP) -- The Oakland bullpen has picked up the slack for
its vaunted starting staff.
Mike Wood, who took injured Mark Mulder's roster spot, earned
his first major league victory as the Athletics beat the Toronto
Blue Jays 11-5 Saturday.The A's are 3-2 on their road trip despite not getting a win
from their impressive foursome of Mulder, Barry Zito, Rich Harden
and Tim Hudson, who was scratched from his start Thursday.Oakland's taxed bullpen is 3-0 with two saves and a 3.28 ERA in
that span."I hope we don't have to use the bullpen the rest of the road
trip because there could be big problems," said A's manager Ken
Macha, whose team has two games left on the trip. "We have to get
guys further out in the game."Billy McMillon hit a two-run double as part of a six-run sixth
inning. The Athletics moved within two games of Seattle for first
place in the AL West and remained tied with Boston in the AL
wild-card race.Wood (1-0) allowed two runs on one hit, while striking out three
and walking one in 1 2-3 innings. The 23-year-old right-hander made
his major league debut on Thursday."After one day rest he said he was ready to go, and he got us
five big outs," said Macha, who used four relievers on Saturday.
"I think he's done very well. I like what I see. He's got some
movement, he's got a pretty good slider and a good changeup."Wood was promoted from the minors Thursday when Mulder was
placed on the 15-day disabled list. Mulder has a stress fracture in
his right hip and is likely out for the season.Wood said he'll give the ball and the scorecard to his dad."It hasn't sunk in yet," Wood said.John Halama, who replaced Mulder in the rotation, got a
no-decision, allowing three runs on six hits in just four innings."I don't know if I'm going to continue to start," said Halama,
who could be replaced by Wood in the rotation.Adam Melhuse hit three-run homer off Toronto starter Pete Walker
in the second. Chris Woodward hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom
half, and Bobby Kielty had a tying, two-run double in the third.The A's broke loose in the sixth against Tanyon Sturtze (6-6).
After Chris Singleton hit a go-ahead RBI single, McMillon ended an
0-for-18 slump with his two-run double.Miguel Tejada added an RBI double, and Mark Ellis later had a
run-scoring grounder. Terrence Long's RBI single gave Oakland a 9-3
lead."It was tough inning," Sturtze said. "It was tough timing
because we were right in the game."Wood pitched a perfect fifth inning before walking Chris
Woodward and hitting Reed Johnson with a pitch in the sixth. Mike
Bordick followed with a two-run double in the sixth, cutting the
lead to 9-5.
Oakland 1B Scott Hatteberg is day to day with a sore back.
... Attendance was 27,740 for Paul Molitor bobblehead day. ...
Walker allowed three runs on four hits in 4 1-3 innings. The Blue
Jays activated Walker from the 15-day disabled list before the
game. He hadn't pitched since June 3 a strained left knee. ... Wood
was 9-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 16 starts with Triple-A Sacramento this
season. ... Singleton went 3-for-4 with a walk.