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Blue Jays Crush Oakland

Joey Hamilton focused on pitching, instead of his sore right shoulder, and the difference was remarkable.

Six days after getting knocked out in the first inning by the Athletics, Hamilton allowed three hits in six scoreless innings as the Toronto Blue Jays snapped a seven-game losing streak with an 11-0 win over Oakland on Friday night.

Darrin Fletcher drove in five runs to match his career high. He hit a three-run double in the fifth and added a two-run homer as the Blue Jays scored five in the eighth.

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  • Willie Greene added a two-run homer, Tony Batista hit a solo homer and Carlos Delgado had a two-run single and an RBI double for the Blue Jays, who have won 18 of their last 24 road games.

    Hamilton (6-7) did not allow a runner past second base in a stark turnaround of his previous start, a 13-5 loss last Saturday to the A's in Toronto in which he allowed eight runs in a third of an inning the shortest start of his career.

    "Basically, I went out there and threw the ball instead of trying to take it easy and save my shoulder," said Hamilton, who has had shoulder problems all season. "I figured either it was going to hold up or not, so I threw a lot of fastballs."

    His catcher, Fletcher, said there was a huge difference in the two starts.

    "Joey did a good job of forgetting about the mistakes he had last time," Fletcher said. "He was letting it go more. He was tentative the last time out there."

    The loss kept the A's a game behind Boston, which lost 4-3 at Texas, in the battle for the AL wild-card spot. The Blue Jays pulled within one game of Oakland ad two games of the Red Sox.

    "It was just an ugly night out there," Oakland's Jason Giambi said. "He's a good pitcher and I knew he'd come back. I know (Hamilton) pretty well and I thought it was going to be tough facing him again tonight. His ball was moving all over the place."

    It was the first win this season for the Blue Jays against the A's. Oakland has swept a pair of three-game series at Toronto this season, including one last weekend.

    "We haven't played well against this club all year long. We were due to have a good game against them," Toronto manager Jim Fregosi said.

    Shannon Stewart led off the game with a double and scored on Delgado's two-out double. Greene hit his 11th homer in the fourth. Fletcher's bases-loaded double in the fifth came on the first pitch from reliever Tim Worrell, who had just replaced starter Mike Oquist.

    Fletcher and Batista hit consecutive homers in the eighth, the eighth time this season the Blue Jays have had back-to-back homers. It was the 13th homer for Fletcher, the 19th for Batista. Delgado added his two-run single later in the inning.

    Oquist (9-8), who had won his previous three starts, allowed six runs on seven hits in 4 2-3 innings.


  • A's third baseman Eric Chavez left the game after the third inning with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot. A's manager Art Howe said after the game that Chavez will be out a minimum of three weeks. Chavez hurt his foot by hitting first base hard while running out a grounder in the third.
  • Stewart extended his hitting streak to 18 games, an ongoing career high.
  • The A's sent RHP Carl Dale to the Milwaukee Brewers to complete the trade that brought outfielder Rich Becker to Oakland earlier this week.
  • The Blue Jays are 30-29 on the road, the first time they've been above .500 away from home this season.
  • The Blue Jays are 26-14 in games in which they've scored in the first inning.

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