Blue Jays 5 Athletics 2
OAKLAND, Calif. — Adam Lind hit a two-run homer after being demoted from the cleanup spot before the game, and J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion each hit a solo drive to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Wednesday.
Brandon Morrow (4-1) struck out a season-high 10 in six innings and won his fourth straight start, outpitching Tyson Ross in a matchup of former college stars from nearby California who were 2006 teammates. The Blue Jays right-hander went 23 2-3 innings without allowing a run before Jonny Gomes hit an RBI single in the fifth.
Arencibia homered leading off the seventh, this time coming through with a key hit in a close game. Manager John Farrell lifted him for pinch-hitter Omar Vizquel with the go-ahead run on third in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s 7-3 loss — so delivering this time had to be a nice boost.
Encarnacion started the eighth with his 10th homer, ending an 0-for-21 funk and helping Toronto snap a three-game skid on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Colby Rasmus had an RBI single in the sixth that chased Ross (1-3).
Oakland didn’t generate much offence against Morrow and was awaiting word on the status of cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes, who was scratched about an hour before Tuesday’s game after injuring the top of his left hand in batting practice. Cespedes was undergoing X-rays and manager Bob Melvin expected to know more by the end of the day.
Five of Morrow’s Ks came on called third strikes and he owns a sparkling 0.67 ERA during the four-start winning streak, allowing two earned runs over 27 2-3 innings.
The Blue Jays bounced back after losing the opener of the quick two-game series on Brandon Inge’s game-ending grand slam against Francisco Cordero, who was demoted from his closer job before Wednesday’s game. Handed the ninth-inning duties by manager John Farrell, Casey Janssen finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save in two tries this year.
Farrell also dropped Lind to the eighth hole in the batting order to try to generate some offence. Lind — who came in hitless in seven at-bats, with just two hits in his last 29 at-bats and mired in a 5-for-37 funk overall — singled in the second and put his team ahead with a two-run drive into the right-field bleachers.
Ross was done after 5 2-3 innings, tagged for three runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked three as Oakland’s three-game winning streak ended.
A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki had a scheduled day off, but the timing was good considering he got hit in the left hand and then also the thumb Tuesday night.
“It’s a little sore, but when aren’t you sore?” Suzuki said.
NOTES: The A’s dropped to 5-2 in May. … Oakland’s Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington pulled off a double steal in the first. … A’s opening-day starter Brandon McCarthy, skipped in the rotation because of a sore right shoulder, is set to throw a bullpen session Thursday to determine if he can start Saturday vs. Detroit. “We’ll take it step by step,” pitching coach Curt Young said. … Toronto returns for a four-game set here Aug. 2-5. That will give Blue Jays INF and former Giants SS Omar Vizquel more time to catch up with pals from San Francisco. He is retiring at the end of the season and relishing each road trip these days. … Melvin on facing Detroit: “They’re loaded. They’re one of the elite teams in the American League.”… Someone chanted “Barry Zito!” in the eighth inning. The $126 million Giants LHP won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award while with the A’s.