For the second straight week, the Oakland Athletics hit Toronto Blue Jays pitchers hard in their series opener.
This weekend, the A's hope the rest of the set goes better than the last.
Coming off their highest-scoring game of the season, the visiting A's hope to end their recent struggles against Mark Buehrle on Saturday.
Oakland (65-49) pounded out 12 hits and scored eight runs off Esmil Rogers in a 9-4 home win over Toronto on July 29, then were held to two runs while dropping the next two games. The A's hit .216 with three homers and managed 15 runs while losing six of seven prior to Friday's 14-6 win over the Blue Jays (53-62).
Josh Reddick was hitless in his previous 20 at-bats before he homered three straight times and Oakland tagged Rogers for seven runs to snap a three-game skid with its 14-6 rout Friday. Reddick finished with five RBIs and Jed Lowrie had four hits with four RBIs, including a three-run home run, as the A's recorded five homers among their 17 hits."This could be a great thing for (Reddick) and us to kind of turn the corner and get hot at the right time," winning pitcher Jarrod Parker said.
Lowrie is 9 for 18 with this season against the Blue Jays, who have lost two straight and five of eight.
The A's hope for a better performance against Buehrle (7-7, 4.41 ERA), who followed Toronto's loss at Oakland last week by allowing five hits in seven innings of a 5-0 victory on July 30.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his last four starts against the A's, but his 20-inning scoreless stretch ended Sunday when he gave up four of his five runs on two homers in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels ."I felt too good, and as a result I kept missing location," Buehrle said. "When I feel good I try to overthrow the ball more than I should instead of just worrying about location."
Keeping the ball in the park remains the biggest challenge for Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (10-8, 3.91). The right-hander has served up 10 of his major-league leading 28 homers in his last four starts, which he has split while posting a 5.04 ERA.
He's the first Oakland pitcher to give up two or more home runs in four consecutive starts since Mark Redman in 2007. Three of the four runs Griffin allowed in 6 2-3 innings came on two homers in Sunday's 4-0 loss to Texas."It's just two pitches every game," he said. "I feel like I pitched real well all game. That's the way it goes."
Griffin improved to 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts versus Toronto despite yielding a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion , plus solo shots to Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie along with one other hit in seven innings of a 9-4 victory.
Toronto All-Star Jose Bautista is 0 for 2 with a walk versus Griffin, but homered Friday and is 7 for 16 with two home runs and three RBIs against the A's this season.
|July 25, 2013||John Jaso||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 20, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hamstring cramp|
|June 20, 2013||Derek Norris||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin injury|
|June 11, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
|May 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|August 03, 2013||Steve Delabar||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|August 02, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee strain|
|July 30, 2013||Dustin McGowan||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||60-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
TORONTO (AP) -- After slumping for so long, Josh Reddick is struggling to comprehend his sudden power surge.
Reddick hit two home runs, a day after connecting three times for Oakland, but the Toronto Blue Jays got shots from Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes to beat the Athletics 5-4 Saturday.
Reddick matched the major league record for homers over two games.
"The confidence is definitely there right now, especially the way I've swung the bat the last two days," Reddick said. "I'm going into the batter's box a lot more comfortable and feeling like they can't get me out right now."
Reddick had five home runs coming into the series but has doubled that total in just two games. He hit 32 last year in his first full season.
"He's on fire," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "His home runs have been down this year, but he seems to be picking it up."
After launching a trio of longballs Friday night in a 14-6 romp, Reddick kept up the pace with a two-run drive off Mark Buehrle in the second inning and a leadoff home run in the ninth against Casey Janssen .
"He must be seeing a softball right now because he's hitting everything out," Buehrle said.
It was Reddick's fourth career multihomer game, and the first time this season he's homered in consecutive games.
"It's kind of unbelievable," Reddick said.
Mark McGwire is the only other Oakland player to go deep five time in two games. McGwire did so twice, most recently in June 1995.
"Constant work is finally paying off, watching video is finally paying off," said Reddick, who snapped an 0-for-20 slump with Friday's first homer. "Hopefully this is something I can stick with and continue doing it for the rest of the year."
Oakland began the day in a virtual tie with Texas for the AL West lead. The A's lost for the seventh time in nine games.
"I don't think we're worried about it yet," Reddick said. "We've got over a month and a half left and we've got a few more games against those guys to gain ground, hopefully."
Buehrle (8-7) won his third straight decision. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.
"I kind of feel like I stole a win today," Buehrle said. "It's one of those ones where you don't feel like you deserve, but we won the game and that's what matters."
Janssen, Toronto's sixth pitcher, worked a nervy ninth for his 21st save in 23 opportunities.
After Reddick homered to begin the ninth, Alberto Callaspo singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Eric Sogard . Coco Crisp beat out a bunt single, but Sogard was forced out at third on pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt 's bunt. Jed Lowrie flied out and Janssen ended it by fanning Yoenis Cespedes on a breaking ball.
Vogt batted hit for Daniel Norris, who had gone 3 for 4. Norris was having back spasms and is unlikely to start Sunday, manager Bob Melvin said.
Bautista hit a two-run homer in the first, his 27th. Reyes added some valuable insurance with a solo shot into the second deck in right in the seventh, his ninth.
Making his first major league start, Sonny Gray (0-1) allowed four runs, two of them earned, and four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out five.
"Everything he did today was impressive," Melvin said.
Gray said he struggled to command his fastball in the first two innings, but was able to settle down.
"The longer the game went, the more comfortable I started becoming," Gray said. "Once I was able to get the ball down and start getting ahead, it was a night and day difference."
Oakland's top pick in the 2011 draft, Gray pitched four scoreless innings of relief in two appearances last month.
Gray fell behind quickly when Maicer Izturis drew a one-out walk in the first and Bautista followed with a line-drive homer to center, his second in as many games.
Toronto made it 3-2 with an unearned run in the second. Brett Lawrie struck out swinging but reached on a passed ball. He went to second when Rajai Davis walked, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a grounder by Reyes.
The Blue Jays took a 4-2 lead with another unearned run in the third. Bautista hit a leadoff single and Edwin Encarnacion followed with a grounder to third, but Josh Donaldson 's errant throw to second was high. One out later, Bautista scored on a single by Colby Rasmus .
"We could have played a little cleaner and probably kept those two off the board," Melvin said. "If we execute a little better in this game, we win it."
The Athletics chased Buehrle and cut it to 4-3 in the sixth. Cespedes led off with an infield single, Donaldson doubled and Nate Freiman hit a sacrifice fly.
Reyes padded Toronto's lead with a two-out shot off Ryan Cook in the seventh. It was the first home run surrendered by Cook since Aug. 4, 2012.
NOTES: The Blue Jays placed LHP Juan Perez on the 60-day DL with a torn elbow ligament and recalled RHP Mickey Storey from Triple-A Buffalo. ... To make room on the roster for Gray, Oakland designated INF Adam Rosales for assignment. It's the third time in 11 days that Rosales has been designated - twice by Oakland and once by Texas. ... Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore right knee. ... Anthony Bennett, the first Canadian player to be picked first overall in the NBA Draft, threw out the first pitch.