Hairston possibly breaks ankle as A's, Hudson silence O's, 11-0

Doctor sees `slight crack' after O's run-in with wall

August 18, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The Orioles would have settled last night for absorbing the searing blows that come with a lopsided defeat. Such hurt fades in a relatively short amount of time.

It's also much easier to count one loss than the growing list of unhealthy bodies.

Jermaine Dye homered in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie, Scott Hatteberg added a grand slam, and the Oakland Athletics registered an 11-0 victory at Camden Yards that stung the Orioles all the way to their roster.

The A's hit four homers, including a two-run shot by Adam Melhuse in the eighth that resulted in an injury to center fielder Jerry Hairston, who limped off after landing hard on his left heel. X-rays appeared to show a crack in his ankle, and the Orioles scheduled a CT scan last night that could result in Hairston's return to the disabled list.

"I just hope Jerry's not that severe," manager Lee Mazzilli said. "It doesn't look real good."

Second baseman Brian Roberts came out in the seventh after fouling a ball off his right shin the previous inning - the second time this year they were both hurt in the same game.

It was that kind of night.

"It's sore," Roberts said, "but I'll be ready tomorrow."

All the momentum that was built on the most recent road trip has been stamped out by Oakland's rotation, which has allowed one run in 17 innings. Tim Hudson, winless for two months, blanked the Orioles on five hits and walked none.

Far more concern was attached to Hairston, who opened the season on the disabled list with a broken finger and missed six weeks. He struggled to reach his locker last night after leaving the shower, each step taken with extreme caution.

"I fouled a ball off my foot a couple innings earlier and that area didn't hurt at all, but the back of my ankle was bothering me," he said. "When I went back on that ball, I hit the wall and when I landed, I landed right on my heel.

"They saw something on the X-rays. We're hoping it's a shadow and not a crack. We're hoping it's not what I saw and what the doctor saw. He sees a slight crack. And I saw it, too."

Hairston, who could be replaced on the active roster today by David Segui, missed most of last season after breaking a bone in his right foot. "At least I'm balanced now," he said.

Dye hit a 3-2 changeup from Rodrigo Lopez into the left-field seats, and the Athletics battered the Orioles' bullpen in the sixth. John Parrish was charged with two runs, retiring only one batter, and Todd Williams issued a bases-loaded walk to Dye before Hatteberg unloaded.

Williams also gave up a two-run shot to Eric Byrnes in the seventh inning, as the Orioles (57-61) lost for the fourth time in 15 games and halted any discussions about the wild card. Melhuse connected off Eddy Rodriguez, who then brought a warning to both dugouts after hitting Bobby Crosby.

Mazzilli held a brief meeting after the game, instructing his players to stay positive.

"We've played good baseball for three weeks," he said. "Today was a game that got away from us. That hasn't happened in a long time."

Hudson (8-4) hadn't won since June 11, his season interrupted by a trip to the disabled list with a strained rib cage muscle. Last night's start was his third since being activated Aug. 7.

It certainly was his finest.

Hudson retired 13 of 14 batters after Miguel Tejada led off the second with a single. Nobody reached second base.

A prime Cy Young Award candidate before the season, Hudson avoided losing more than two starts in a row for only the second time in his career. It happened in May 2002. It wasn't about to happen again.

"It was one of those nights you wish you could bottle up," he said.

"It was probably one of the best of his career," Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "He got a ton of ground balls and he was still throwing 93 [mph] the last inning."

Lopez (10-8) was up to 73 pitches after the fourth, and the game started to unravel the next inning. It was unrecognizable by the sixth, when the Athletics sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six runs.

Singles by Melhuse and Marco Scutaro completed Lopez's night, but not his line. A two-out single by Byrnes off Parrish gave Oakland a 2-0 lead, and Dye's walk produced the third run charged to Lopez.

In his first 14 starts, Lopez registered a 2.14 ERA over the first three innings, but it jumped to 6.46 in the fourth through the seventh. He took a shutout into the fifth last night but retired only four more batters.

"On almost every at-bat I fell behind in the count," Lopez said. "Those guys are very disciplined at the plate."

Rejuvenated since his second escape from the bullpen, he had won four of his past five outings.

Lopez hadn't seen the A's this season, but they no doubt remembered him. He defeated Hudson last September, 9-0, for his first complete-game shutout.

Funny how little that meant last night. If only the Orioles could have found the humor.

"I'm concerned about the health of this team," Mazzilli said.

Orioles tonight

Opponent: Oakland Athletics

Site: Camden Yards

Time: 7:05

TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: A's Mark Mulder (15-4, 3.71) vs. Orioles' Sidney Ponson (8-12, 5.47)

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