Blue Jays 3 Athletics 1
OAKLAND, Calif. — Shaun Marcum pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a home run to Conor Jackson leading off the seventh inning, and Jose Bautista hit a controversial inside-the-park home run to lift the Toronto Blue Jays over Oakland Athletics, 3-1 on Monday night.
The A’s were held hitless late for the second straight day. Minnesota’s Kevin Slowey didn’t allow a hit through seven innings Sunday before being pulled. Oakland got its first hit with one out in the eighth against Jon Rauch.
Edwin Encarnacion also homered for Toronto. Jose Molina matched his career high with four hits for the Blue Jays, who have won eight of the last 10 games between the two teams.
Marcum (11-6) missed most of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery Sept. 30, 2008. He faced only two batters over the minimum before Jackson homered and finished for his first career complete game. Marcum also took a no-hitter into the seventh against Texas on opening day and no-hit Tampa Bay through six innings on May 7, 2008, before being lifted because of a high pitch count.
Prior to Jackson’s homer, the closest the A’s came to getting a hit came when Cliff Pennington hit a slow grounder to Encarnacion with one out in the sixth. The third baseman fumbled with the ball and threw late to first base, allowing Pennington to reach safely. The play was ruled an error and the sparse crowd at the Oakland Coliseum booed.
Marcum, who was trying for the majors’ sixth no-hitter this season, retired the first eight batters before hitting Pennington, the No. 9 hitter, with a pitch. Pennington was later thrown out trying to steal second. Daric Barton walked with one out in the fourth but was left stranded.
Jackson’s home run, a towering blast over the wall in left-centre, is his first since being acquired from Arizona in a trade on June 15.
Marcum retired the final nine batters after Jackson’s drive. He finished with one walk and five strikeouts, rebounding nicely from his last outing when he gave up a career-high four home runs in a 10-1 loss to Boston on Wednesday.
Marcum’s 11 wins lead the Blue Jays and are one shy of his career-high set in 2007.
In an intriguing follow-up, Oakland’s Dallas Braden and Toronto’s Brandon Morrow are scheduled to pitch against each other on Tuesday. Braden pitched the majors’ first perfect game this year for the A’s on May 9 while Morrow lost his bid for a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning against Tampa Bay on Aug. 8.
Bautista hit a 3-0 pitch from Brett Anderson that cleared the wall in left field but hit the pole and bounced back onto the field.
Third base umpire Tim Timmons pointed toward the turf, signalling the ball in play. Jackson, Oakland’s left-fielder, watched with his back against the wall as the ball bounced toward the infield as Bautista raced around the bases for what was ruled an inside-the-park home run.
It’s Bautista’s majors-leading 37th homer. The Toronto slugger also had an inside-the-park home run July 7 against Minnesota.
Encarnacion hit a two-run homer in the fifth, his 13th of the season.
The A’s haven’t had any sort of offence lately.
They entered the night coming off a road trip in which they hit just .209 and scored only 11 runs while going 1-5. Oakland has not homered in eight straight games, the team’s longest power outage since a nine-game skid Sept. 14-24, 1983.
Anderson (3-4) allowed all three Toronto runs and gave up seven hits. Anderson, who struck out five, is 1-3 since returning from the disabled list July 30.
NOTES: LHP Jesse Carlson, called up from triple-A Las Vegas following Toronto’s 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, was in uniform but did not pitch. … The Blue Jays signed 15th-round draft pick LHP Zak Adams and 17th-rounder RHP Myles Jaye. … The A’s reached agreement with three of their draft picks, including second-rounder SS Yordy Cabrera. OF Aaron Shimpon, a third-round pick, and 3B Chad Lewis, a fourth-rounder, also agreed to terms.