Blue Jays 5, Athletics 3
Yunel Escobar's painful slide overshadowed another Blue Jays victory.
Escobar was shaken up after sliding face first into third baseman Andy LaRoche's leg on a triple in the fifth, laying on the ground and being tended to by the trainer before getting up. Escobar ran the bases and played defense in the sixth but was replaced by John McDonald in the seventh after complaining of dizziness.
''We're hopeful and at least cautiously optimistic at this point that we're not entertaining something like (a concussion),'' Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Escobar, who was still wearing his helmet when he collided with LaRoche, was scheduled to go to a hospital for tests following the game. He will be reevaluated Thursday.
Oakland has lost four of five this season and will try to avoid being swept by Toronto Thursday afternoon. The Athletics visit Minnesota and Chicago before returning home.
''We have a tough trip obviously but I like the way we've been playing,'' manager Bob Geren said. ''We've been playing a lot better overall, swinging the bats a little better. The starting pitching has been fantastic.''
Still, some victories would be nice.
''Hopefully we'll put all three facets of the game together (Thursday),'' outfielder Josh Willingham said. ''We need to get a win this series, for sure.''
Braden (0-1), who allowed 10 hits and five runs in seven-plus innings, understands there's plenty of time to right the ship.
''It's game five, right?'' he asked. ''We've got a long road to hoe. Nothing is ever decided in April.''
Starting for the first time since Aug. 1, 2010, Litsch allowed three runs and six hits, walked two and struck out a career-high seven. Litsch missed the end of last season after undergoing hip surgery.
Oakland, which came in with a major league high nine errors through four games, didn't make another miscue but did misplay two balls. Escobar was involved both times, picking up a single after third baseman LaRoche couldn't handle his grounder in the first, and a triple on a ball that eluded right fielder David DeJesus in the fifth.
DeJesus has played 246 games without an error, the longest streak in the majors.
''I left one pitch north of the border and it ended up further north of the border,'' Braden said. ''That's how that goes.''
Toronto chased Braden in the eighth when McDonald led off with an infield single and Lind followed with a ground-rule double. Brad Ziegler came on and gave up an RBI single to Aaron Hill but escaped further damage by striking out Rivera and getting Encarnacion to ground into a double play.
Braden walked one and struck out three.
NOTES: Toronto LHP Ricky Romero (1-0) faces Oakland RHP Trevor Cahill (0-0) on Thursday. ... Oakland placed RHP Michael Wuertz (strained left hamstring) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Tyson Ross from Triple-A Sacramento ... Athletics 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, who made an error and misplayed two balls in Tuesday's loss, was held out of the starting lineup but pinch hit in the seventh. ... Oakland RHP Rich Harden (right shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Thursday. ... A's LHP Brian Fuentes, out since Apr. 2 with a sore finger, threw before the game and declared himself ready to return.