The Oakland Athletics finally ran out of late-inning magic at home in losing to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tommy Milone is hoping he hasn't lost his mojo, too.
The rookie left-hander's brilliant run in Oakland came to an abrupt end earlier this week, but he'll try to regroup and avenge a recent loss to the Blue Jays in the finale of this four-game set Sunday.
The A's (58-49) have gone 21-7 since the beginning of July to surge into the lead in the AL wild-card race, posting five extra-inning home victories among eight walkoff wins in that stretch.
Friday night's 5-4, 15-inning win was their major league-best 13th in walkoff fashion in 2012, but they couldn't claim another one Saturday. Toronto's David Cooper homered in the ninth inning to send it to extras again, and the Blue Jays (52-55) won 3-1 in 11 after scoring the go-ahead run on Oakland catcher George Kottaras ' throwing error.
"You're not going to win all those games, yet you expect to," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We didn't come through this time."
Milone (9-8, 3.68 ERA) came through in his first eight home starts, allowing two or fewer runs in each while going 5-1 with a 0.91 ERA, but Tampa Bay wasn't impressed Tuesday. He yielded five runs in six innings of an 8-0 home loss to the Rays to drop his second straight start overall.
"I fell behind hitters and left the ball up," Milone said. "Strike one is a big pitch for me. If I don't get that, then I have to throw a good pitch and I get into a deeper hole."
Oakland will be looking for a long outing from Milone with the bullpen having thrown 18 1-3 innings over the last two days. Starter A.J. Griffin left in the second with a shoulder problem Saturday.
Yoenis Cespedes was out of the starting lineup with a right wrist sprain, but the Athletics are unlikely to get any sympathy from their banged-up opponent.
Aaron Laffey (2-2, 4.20) is among the replacements in a Blue Jays rotation decimated by injuries, and he's been struggling lately. After starting opposite Milone last month and allowing four runs in 5 2-3 innings, the left-hander yielded seven runs in 4 2-3 innings of Tuesday's 7-2 loss at Seattle.
"I've gotten away from my sinker the last couple games," Laffey said. "That's my bread and butter right there."
Saturday's victory snapped a six-game skid for Toronto, which had lost the first five on this 10-game road trip.
"We earned that one," manager John Farrell said. "It's been a while since we shook hands after a game."
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|August 03, 2012||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Left game - rib cage tightness|
|July 26, 2012||Joel Carreno||15-Day DL|
|July 26, 2012||J.P. Arencibia||15-Day DL||Broken right hand|
|July 26, 2012||Adam Lind||15-Day DL||Mid-back strain|
|July 25, 2012||J.P. Arencibia||Day-to-Day||Broken right hand|
|July 17, 2012||Jason Frasor||15-Day DL||Right forearm tightness|
|August 04, 2012||A.J. Griffin||Day-to-Day||Sore right shoulder|
|August 03, 2012||Seth Smith||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|August 03, 2012||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right wrist|
|July 28, 2012||Coco Crisp||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring tightness|
|July 20, 2012||Cliff Pennington||15-Day DL||Left elbow tendinitis|
|June 23, 2012||Collin Cowgill||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays took some momentum away from the surprising Oakland Athletics .
Edwin Encarnacion homered and drove in two runs, Yunel Escobar also drove in two runs and the Blue Jays beat the A's 6-5 Sunday for a four-game split.
"We put together a good game," Blue Jays' manager John Farrell said. "We were able to exploit the speed that both guys have at the top.
Josh Reddick hit a three-run home run for the A's, who are 2-3 in August after going 19-5 in July. Coco Crisp and Derek Norris each doubled home a run for the A's.
Tommy Milone (9-9) lost his third straight start and is 1-3 in his last seven.
"Something is just a little off in my delivery and the ball is sailing up in the zone," Milone said. "I couldn't get that one pitch I needed."
Anthony Gose and Kelly Johnson also drove in runs for the Blue Jays, who have won two straight after a six-game losing streak.
Aaron Laffey (3-2) won for the third time in four decisions after allowing four runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 14th consecutive save.
Toronto had its best offensive output in 10 games. The Blue Jays avraged just under two runs a game in their previous eight.
Rajai Davis scored from second base on a sacrifice bunt from Gose to put the Blue Jays ahead in the first. David doubled to open the game and was already at third base by the time Norris was just getting rid of the ball from Gose's bunt.
"I wish I could say we practiced that, but we didn't," Gose said. "Rajai was on the move and I should have taken the pitch and let him steal a base, but I put the bunt down and heads up base running made things happen."
Norris' double in the second scored Brandon Inge with the tying run, and Reddick's three-run drive into the right-field bleachers put the A's ahead 4-1 in the third.
"A couple of plays here and there cost us," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Encarnacion's 29th home run closed the gap to 4-3 in the fourth, and Toronto took the lead in the fifth when five hitters reached with two outs. Escobar's two-run single and Johnson's RBI single were the key hits.
"We have been struggling the past couple of games," Encarnacion said. "That homer gave everybody a little more emotion and everybody started hitting better."
Adam Rosales doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on Crisp's double to make it 6-5.
NOTES: A's RHP A.J. Griffin went on the DL with a strained right shoulder. ... Oakland OF Michael Taylor was optioned to Triple-A. ... The A's recalled left-hander Pedro Figueroa and right-hander Evan Scribner from Sacramento. ... Blue Jays RHP Carlos Villanueva left the team for personal reasons. Toronto RHP Jesse Chavez was optioned to Triple-A. ... LHP J.A. Happ will move up to start Tuesday's game for the Blue Jays. ... Toronto also selected RHP Chad Jenkins from Double-A New Hampshire. ... The A's are 14-6 in one-run games at home.