The Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 6-4 on Wednesday. However, their ace Rich Harden left the game in the fourth inning with a lower back injury. When asked about the injury, Harden said "I don't know. We'll see what the trainers say." When asked if Harden was still in pain, the hurler responded: "I'm all right." Translation: Rich Harden is hurt.

Harden will not accompany the team to Kansas City. Instead, he will go back to the Bay Area to meet with the club's physicians and will receive an MRI.

Harden left in the fourth inning after walking Hank Blalock to load the bases. Catcher Jason Kendall summoned trainer Larry Davis and manager Ken Macha to the mound, knowing Harden was hurting. One batter earlier, Harden fielded a bare-handed shot from Phil Nevin and threw him out.

Harden missed some of April and nearly all of September last season with different injuries, then was brought along slowly in spring training after having his left labrum repaired in October.


Thu 04/27/06, 7:43 am EST



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