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Braden takes shot in A's loss

Braden takes shot in A's loss
OAKLAND The A's lost for the fifth time in seven games Sunday as left-hander Brett Cecil allowed just five hits in eight innings to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-0 win at the Oakland Coliseum.

But of greater concern to the A's immediately after the game was the condition of one of their own left-handers, Dallas Braden, who pitched six innings after deflecting a first-inning line drive by Vernon Wells with his pitching hand, after which it ricocheted off the right side of his neck.

"You could see the seems of the ball (across his knuckles)," A's manager Bob Geren.

Braden was taken to a local hospital where X-rays on his left hand revealed no broken bones. He was diagnosed with a contusion and a deep bone bruise and sported a splint when he returned to the A's clubhouse roughly an hour after the end of the game.

"(The swelling) was pretty significant. It's pretty large," Braden said. "It looks like a ball of cotton candy hanging off the end of my wrist." After the ball left his neck, Braden crumpled to the grass and actually struggled to breathe for a moment before he was attended to by A's assistant trainer Walt Horn. After a few minutes, Braden got up and threw a handful of pitches before declaring himself fit to stay in the game, as he got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and threw 84 pitches for the afternoon.

Braden said Dr. Thomas Sugarman at Alameda Hospital recommended Braden leave the splint on for a couple of days before slowly resuming activity, but the 25-year-old is confident he'll be able to make his next start on Friday in Detroit. If he is unable to go, it is possible that rookie Brett Anderson will get the nod.

"The doctor said, 'Give it a couple of days in a splint and then slowly, gradually work out,'" Braden said. "And I said, I'll see you on Friday in Detroit, Doc." Braden, who now has a 2.79 ERA, has arguably been the most consistent member of the A's pitching staff this season and would have a better record than 3-4 if had he received a little more run support.

Sunday's game marked the fifth time in Braden's seven starts that the A's have scored one run or less as they were shut out for the first time since April 19, when, ironically, Jays lefty Ricky Romero outdueled Braden in a 1-0 Toronto win.

The A's had runners on base in each of the first four innings but went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. In the bottom of the sixth, Jack Cust sent a Cecil fastball to the left field wall and easily beat the throw to second base from Jose Bautista. But Cust overslid the bag and was tagged out by shortstop Marco Scutaro.

"I was too fast. When you have speed like me, it's tough to not overrun the bases sometimes," Cust deadpanned. "I was just trying to slide the outside part of the bag just because I saw the throw come in from the other side and I didn't really have the bag to pop up on."

At 11-18, Oakland has equaled the start of 2001, which was the second worst for the team since it moved from Kansas City. In 1994, the A's started 8-21.

Blue Jays 5, A's 0 ?Tuesday: vs. Royals, 7:05 p.m. ?TV: CSN-CA

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 12, 2009

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