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Blue Jays battle each other, lose war against A's

TORONTO (AP) -- While the Oakland Athletics keep fighting for a
playoff spot, the Toronto Blue Jays are still tangling with each other.

Manager John Gibbons wound up with a bloody nose after scrapping
with pitcher Ted Lilly near the Toronto dugout, and the Athletics
rallied from an eight-run deficit to beat the Blue Jays 12-10
Monday night.

Gibbons and Lilly said no punches were thrown.

"We were on the verge of something regrettable happening. We
were yelling at each other face to face," Lilly said.

Bobby Kielty homered and drove in four runs for the AL
West-leading A's, who tied an Oakland record for the biggest
comeback.

The Blue Jays had an 8-0 lead, but Lilly was pulled in the third
inning when the Athletics scored seven runs. Gibbons chewed out his
pitcher, who refused to give him the ball.

When Lilly left the mound for the clubhouse. Gibbons followed
him. A team trainer and a number of players then ran down the
stairs. Cameramen near the dugout saw Gibbons push Lilly first.

Canadian Press photographer Aaron Harris, one of a handful of
photographers to witness the skirmish, said Lilly was waiting for
Gibbons in the tunnel leading to the clubhouse.

"Gibbons just went at him," Harris said. "It looked like
Gibbons grabbed him and they disappeared. Then the whole dugout
emptied back there. It was mayhem down in the tunnel."

A television camera later showed Gibbons and the trainer wipe
the manager's nose with a towel.

"He thought he should have been left in the game," Gibbons
said of Lilly. "I didn't think so."

Gibbons met with Lilly after the game.

"We hashed it out. Everything is fine now," Gibbons said.

Gibbons said Lilly will continue to pitch for him.

In July, Gibbons challenged Shea Hillenbrand to a fight after
the infielder wrote on the clubhouse bulletin board that the "ship
was sinking." Hillenbrand declined to fight, and was later traded
to San Francisco.

"Who knows how long I have left here," said Lilly, who is
eligible for free agency after this season. "Maybe a month. Maybe
longer. It was a bad day. I embarrassed the organization."

Team president Paul Godfrey didn't think Gibbons or Lilly needed
discipline. General manager J.P. Ricciardi didn't make himself
available.

"My opinion is that it's a one-night skirmish," Godfrey said.
"I don't see any need for discipline. Ted and the manager worked
it out between them."

Hillenbrand had only kind words about Lilly when asked about the
altercation after the Giants' 5-0 win over Arizona in San
Francisco.

"Ted Lilly's a great guy. Ted Lilly's an intense competitor,"
Hillenbrand said. "He was a great teammate when I was over there.
So I'm surprised that confrontation happened with Ted Lilly."

He added: "Stuff like that's been going on all season over
there. I had my issues with the manager. ... They say I'm the
cancer of the team and things are still happening, so I don't know
how you can make that assumption or that statement. Things like
that begin to come out when times get tough."

Dan Haren (12-9) set an Oakland record by getting the victory
despite allowing nine runs. He gave up 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings.

"It's amazing how that stuff happens," Haren said. "Momentum
is an incredible thing."

Alex Rios and Troy Glaus homered for the Blue Jays.

Jason Kendall had a two-run double, and Kielty and Milton
Bradley hit consecutive homers off Lilly in the third. Frank Thomas
followed with a double and Jay Payton later singled, prompting an
angry Gibbons to replace Lilly.

"It's a little strange to seen that happen," Oakland's Eric
Chavez said of the skirmish. "I liked Ted. He was a good teammate
when he was here."

Toronto reliever Jason Frasor's run-scoring wild pitch and Eric
Chavez's RBI double cut it to 8-7.

Oakland scored four times in the sixth on Kielty's two-run
double off Brandon League (0-1) and RBI grounders by Bradley and
Thomas. Vernon Wells' RBI double cut Oakland's lead to 11-10 in the
bottom half.

Payton homered in the ninth to make it 12-10. Justin Duchscherer
closed for his fourth save.

Game notes
On June 18, 1993, Oakland trailed 8-0 to Kansas City before
rallying for a 10-9 victory. ... Chavez hit eighth in the lineup
for the second time this season. Chavez has been bothered by
tendinitis in his forearms for months. ... Haren has won six
straight starts.

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^AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to
this story.