Recap: Blue Jays @ A’s Game 106
Wrap: Oakland 9, Toronto 4. A’s 63-43 (1st Place, 6 games ahead)
The A’s opened their series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays with a decisive 9-4 win today. The A’s got on top early with a four run breakout in the first inning. When Toronto finally scored the A’s lead was 5-1 and the A’s answered in the bottom half with three runs. The Blue Jays matched that in the following half inning (the top of the 6th) it was too little too late. The A’s would add a much unnecessary insurance run in the bottom of the eighth in a dominating victory.
Bob Melvin retooled the lineup a little moving the hot Sogard into the #2 spot and the fading Donaldson down to #6. The results were mixed as Sogard went 0-for-4 but Donaldson went 1-for-4 breaking an 0-for-17 stretch. The hitting opened up early for Oakland with a four run first inning, that saw the first four hitters of the game get on base safely with the big hit being a Cespedes triple to plate two and expand the lead to 3-0. Cespedes would be scored by Reddick on a sac fly later in the inning. Smith would double home a run in the third inning, Reddick would double in two in the fifth inning. A Vogt RBI single and Cespedes solo home run in the 8th off Brett Cecil would round out the A’s scoring. Overall the A’s hitters managed 11 hits and five walks. Hitting a sturdy 6-for-16 with runners in scoring positon, despite stranding ten guys. They just had a ton of runners on and kept Blue Jays pitchers on their toes all night, particularly Rogers against whom they had nine hits and drew three walks in just four and a third innings on the hill. Cespedes followed up yesterday’s 3-for-5 night with another 3-for-5 night including the triple and homer.
Griffin got the nod and went seven innings allowing just four hits. Problem is four of those hits were home runs to Adam Lind (5th inning, no one on), Brett Lawrie (6th inning, no one one) and Edwin Encarnacion (6th innings, one on) which accounted for all four of the Blue Jays runs. Aside from the runs, hits and home runs Griffin walked two and struck out five. This outing was by sabermetrics an awful start for Griffin: 8.04 FIP though the 5.06 xFIP was in line with the 5.14 ERA. Yet he earned the win. Home runs continue to be a problem for Griffin who is now at 1.7 HR/9 on the year. It should be noted the only pitcher worse than Griffin right now in that respect is Joe Blanton of the Angels at 1.8 HR/9. Doolittle and Blevins both pitched uneventful innings of work with Doolittle giving up a hit while K’ing one and Blevins being perfect with two strikeouts.
Cespedes went 3-for-5 with three RBI a double and a triple earning him the kudos of hero two nights running. His first inning triple broke the game open for the A’s and seemed to break the will of Rogers and the Blue Jays. His home run was just a mean piece of icing on the cake for the Toronto faithful.