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Jays begin series with Athletics

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The Sports Network
7/31/2009 10:44:01 AM
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(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays still have ace Roy Halladay on their roster. Whether or not he is there when their three-game series starts this evening against the Oakland Athletics is another question.

The Blue Jays, of course, are in talks to deal their right-hander and could do so by Friday's 4:00 p.m. (EDT) non-waiver deadline. Reportedly the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are all in on the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner.

However, general manager J.P. Ricciardi could also opt to keep Halladay, who is still under contract through next season.

The Blue Jays enter tonight's tilt after dropping two of three to the Seattle Mariners and are a miserable 8-15 in the month of July, dropping them 13 games back of the New York Yankees in the American League East.

Hoping to change Toronto's fortunes tonight will be right-hander Scott Richmond, who is 6-5 with a 3.69 ERA. Richmond, though, hasn't pitched since June 30 because of tendinitis in his pitching shoulder.

Richmond lost to the A's back on May 8, as he matched a season-high by surrendering five runs in eight innings.

Oakland, meanwhile, will counter with left-hander Dallas Braden, who is coming off his worst start of the season. Against the New York Yankees on Sunday, Braden allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, dropping him to 7-9, while raising his ERA to 3.74.

"If you give them (Yankees) a chance they're going to take advantage," said Braden. "That's the story today...I didn't give us a chance to compete, it's a (expletive) poor effort."

Braden also lost to the Jays earlier in the season and is 0-2 lifetime against them with a 3.94 ERA in three games (two starts).

Oakland could also be sellers at today's deadline, as it is reportedly in talks with the Minnesota Twins concerning shortstop Orlando Cabrera. Of course, the A's already shipped power-hitting outfielder Matt Holliday to St. Louis last week for a trio of prospects.

Toronto has won four of six from the A's this season.


Roy Halladay (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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