Hitters for the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays have to be eager for the finale of their four-game series Monday.
The visiting Athletics are set to face a rusty starter in J.A. Happ, while Oakland starter Dan Straily has lost a career-high four straight outings.
Powered by Josh Reddick 's five homers and eight RBIs in the first two games, Oakland (66-50) is hitting .328 with 24 runs in this series. The Athletics have taken two of three by limiting Toronto (54-63) to a .225 average and 15 runs.
Oakland, trailing Texas by one game in the AL West race, has to like its chances of capturing the set when it faces Happ (2-2, 5.84 ERA). The left-hander gave up seven runs over four-plus innings and did not receive a decision in a 9-7 loss at Seattle on Wednesday.
That was Happ's first outing since suffering a skull fracture May 7 against Tampa Bay. He failed to record an out past the fourth inning for the third straight outing.
"It's been a long road to get back but at the same time I felt ready to help us win," said Happ, who has never started against Oakland.
Chris Young is the Athletics hitter Happ has faced the most, going 0 for 5.
Straily (6-6, 4.41) has posted a 4.95 ERA during his losing streak. He gave up three runs over four innings of a 3-1 defeat to Cincinnati on Tuesday, the third consecutive outing he has failed to last five.
The right-hander has gone 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA in two career starts against the Blue Jays. One came this season as he yielded five runs over 4 2-3 innings of a 5-0 loss July 30.
Jose Bautista homered off Straily in that contest and is 10 for 24 with three home runs in the season series.
The slugger has taken a back seat in this series to Reddick, who has gone 6 for 12 in the first three games thanks to his amazing display of power in the first two. He is 0 for 2 against Happ.
"We find a way to win the game, but it wasn't pretty," Melvin said.
"Every win is a huge win, especially from here on out," Vogt said. "We're battling."
A's outfielder Coco Crisp left in the eighth with a sore left wrist Sunday and is not expected to play in this game.
|August 11, 2013||Coco Crisp||Day-to-Day||Left wrist|
|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|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|August 10, 2013||Juan Perez||60-Day DL||Torn UCL ligament, left elbow|
|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|
TORONTO (AP) -- Alberto Callaspo is quickly turning into quite the deadline acquisition for the Oakland Athletics .
Callaspo hit a tiebreaking two-run double in Oakland's four-run ninth inning, leading the Athletics to a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
Callaspo, who was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels on July 30, also had a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning of Sunday's 6-4 win at Toronto. The clutch hit in the series finale came against closer Casey Janssen (4-1) with one out and the bases loaded.
"It gets you closer to your team," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Callaspo's pair of big swings. "It's very difficult to come into a club late in the year and feel comfortable. The more you do that in those type of situations, the more comfortable you feel, the more part of it you feel, and rightly so."
Callaspo is batting .292 with four RBIs in 10 games with Oakland. Teammate Josh Donaldson said he's happy to have Callaspo on his side.
"It shows that the trade paid off," Donaldson said. "He's a solid player, he's scrappy. Against us it seemed like he would get that big RBI to either put them back in the game or give them the lead. So far, he's been doing the same thing over here."
Monday's decisive hit came after Callaspo made an error in the eighth that allowed the Blue Jays to score the tying run.
"He definitely made up for it," Melvin said.
The Athletics had lost six of seven before arriving in Toronto, but took three of four from the last-place Blue Jays. Oakland began the day one game back of AL West-leading Texas.
"I feel like it definitely got us back on the right track," Athletics starter Dan Straily said.
Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick , who hit five home runs in the first two games of the series, failed to go deep for the second straight game. Reddick walked in the second, flied out in his next two at-bats and was intentionally walked in the ninth.
Donaldson singled off Janssen to begin the ninth and, one out later, pinch hitter Brandon Moss doubled him to third. Reddick was walked to bring up Callaspo, who sent a 1-0 pitch into the right-field corner.
"I was glad to get that chance and then contribute for the team," Callaspo said. "I feel happy right now."
Stephen Vogt followed with an RBI single through the drawn-in infield and Eric Sogard added a sacrifice fly.
"I gave up that leadoff single and it just kind of snowballed on me," Janssen said.
Pitching for the third straight day, Ryan Cook (5-2) got two outs for the win and Sean Doolittle closed it out.
Oakland got a big boost from Straily, who had lost four consecutive starts. The rookie allowed one run and six hits in a career-high 7 1-3 innings.
"He was dominant out there," Donaldson said. "We needed to get this series victory and he showed up today and was able to get the job done."
Making his second start since a skull fracture May 7 against Tampa Bay, Toronto's J.A. Happ fell behind immediately when Chris Young ended a 10-pitch at bat with a second-deck home run, his 10th.
Frustrated by Straily through the first seven innings, the Blue Jays tied it in the eighth. Jose Reyes hit a one-out single and was running when Maicer Izturis followed with a ground-ball single that got through because shortstop Jed Lowrie had broken to cover second, allowing Reyes to reach third.
Cook replaced Straily and Reyes came home when third baseman Callaspo couldn't handle Jose Bautista 's sharp grounder. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a liner right at second baseman Sogard, who doubled off Izturis to end the rally.
Happ allowed three hits in a season-high seven innings. He set down 14 straight batters between the third and seventh innings.
Pitching just days after the death of his grandfather, Happ struggled to contain his emotions as he spoke with reporters in the clubhouse.
"I definitely had a heavy heart," he said. "I tried to use it."
The left-hander was moved up a day to replace Josh Johnson , who was pushed back to Wednesday with a sore forearm. The Blue Jays intend to recall right-hander Todd Redmond from Triple-A Buffalo to start against Boston on Tuesday. Happ was placed on the three-day bereavement list to open a roster spot for Redmond.
NOTES: Oakland OF Coco Crisp (left wrist) and C Derek Norris (back) were held out of the starting lineup. ... Toronto OF Colby Rasmus (abdominal strain) was not available. ... The Blue Jays have lost nine of 13 at home. ... After playing four straight games on artificial turf, Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes is expected to DH when the Athletics return home Tuesday to host Houston. ... Oakland INF Adam Rosales , who was designated for assignment Saturday, has been claimed on waivers by Texas. ... With a day off in Toronto before their three-game series with the Blue Jays begins Tuesday, Red Sox players Jonny Gomes , Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia attended the game.