Toronto Blue Jays teammates Jose Reyes

Jays complete second straight sweep with win over A’s

The Toronto Blue Jays have used power, speed and pitching on a recent surge that has put them in first place in the American League East. Their 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday showed just how well that combination can work.

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays have used power, speed and pitching on a recent surge that has put them in first place in the American League East.

Their 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday showed just how well that combination can work.

Edwin Encarnacion provided the power with his 14th homer of the season, Jose Reyes provided the speed by equalling a career best for a game with three stolen bases and left-hander J.A. Happ provided the pitching with seven runless innings.

Put it all together, and you get a team that’s on a season-best six-game winning streak and has won 16 of its past 21 games.

“I don’t know if you ever see it coming,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “What it really comes down to is we’re just playing good baseball. The starting pitching has been really good, our offence has been alive, the bullpen has been solid.”

The Blue Jays (29-22) swept the three-game series with the Athletics (30-20) who lead the AL West despite losing their past four games.

“Our three pitchers and their three pitchers were very good,” Gibbons said. “And in those tight ball games, some clutch hitting and some great base running made the difference in most of those games. So ride it, ride it.”

It was Toronto’s second straight sweep after taking three games from the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Happ (4-1) allowed four hits and three walks while striking out seven in his longest outing of the season.

“He’s filling up the strike zone,” Gibbons said. “He’s really doing a nice job of using his fastball on both sides of the plate. He’s locked in right now. (Catcher Erik) Kratz has done a great job with him.”

Dustin McGowan replaced Happ in the eighth and allowed Josh Donaldson’s 11th homer of the season. Casey Janssen pitched the ninth inning to earn his seventh save in as many attempts this season.

“Definitely wanted to pitch off the fastball today and Kratz did a great job behind the plate,” Happ said. “We were on the same page and tried to use that.

“First and foremost it was about me throwing the ball where I’m supposed to throw it, and then pitching off the fastball and using everything. I thought today we did a good job establishing the fastball.”

A’s left-hander Drew Pomeranz (4-2) allowed five hits, four walks and two runs in four-plus innings.

Just Posted

Rejected Red Deer County cannabis production facility to go to appeal

County’s subdivision and development appeal board hearing set for May 2

Red Deer looks to be creative to attract business downtown

Co-op to close downtown store after 56 years

Central Alberta artist wins $25,000 for his hectare-sized caricature

Dean Foster says he’s thrilled to win the radio station contest

Oh, yes! Nurse, Raptors look to finish series with Magic

DENVER — In response to an early call, Toronto coach Nick Nurse… Continue reading

Delay of game calls, goalie interference top worst rules for NHLers: survey

The pace and excitement of 3-on-3 overtime isn’t just a thrill for… Continue reading

Avengers get epic send-off at ‘Endgame’ world premiere

LOS ANGELES — There were more than a few sniffles from the… Continue reading

Writers’ Trust launches program pairing rising writers with established mentors

TORONTO — The Writers’ Trust has launched a program that gives five… Continue reading

Family: A potpourri of Easter egg hunts, music and politics

The election is a thing of the past. Albertans have spoken. They… Continue reading

Sri Lankan-Canadians mourn victims of terrorist attack in their homeland

Sri Lankan-Canadians were gathering Monday to mourn those killed in a massive… Continue reading

Residents along Saint John River told to remain on alert as floodwaters rise

FREDERICTON — People who live along New Brunswick’s Saint John River are… Continue reading

Prince Edward Island voters to cast verdict on new electoral system

CHARLOTTETOWN — Canadians are expected to learn late Tuesday whether the cradle… Continue reading

Most Read