OAKLAND, Calif. – Marcus Stroman struck out six and pitched into the ninth, Brandon Drury homered, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Friday night to snap a seven-game losing streak in the series.
Stroman (1-3) allowed six hits and one run with two walks for his first victory of the season despite a 1.99 ERA coming into his fifth start. He had received only one run of support over 22 2/3 innings before Friday.
The right-hander pitched eight innings for the first time since Aug. 11, 2017, against Pittsburgh. He had a chance for a complete game, but surrendered a leadoff double to Kendrys Morales in the ninth and gave way to Ken Giles — and Stroman was visibly upset. Oakland’s Ramon Laureano argued with plate umpire Laz Diaz on a called third strike to end the game and had to be held back by teammates and coaches.
Danny Jansen hit a two-run double in the second that put the Blue Jays up for good.
Jansen followed Socrates Brito, who singled to get Toronto on the board and snap an 0-for-21 streak overall with his first hit and RBI with the Blue Jays. He had been hitless in 23 straight at-bats overall dating to last season while with Arizona.
Slugger Khris Davis went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts after receiving a new contract from the A’s that adds $33.75 million and runs through 2021. Davis’ hitless night dropped his batting average to .247 — he has hit exactly .247 in each of his last four seasons.
The A’s went ahead 1-0 in the first on Matt Chapman’s double, then Stroman shut them down.
Eric Sogard, who spent 2010-15 with the A’s, batted leadoff and played second in just his fourth game — and start — for the Blue Jays since being called up Monday from Triple-A Buffalo. He drew cheers before the game and when he stepped into the batter’s box in the first.
Oakland starter Aaron Brooks (2-2) allowed five runs on six hits in five innings, struck out five and walked two.
He dropped to 0-3 — lowering his ERA vs. Toronto from 57.86 to 24.55 — in three career starts against the Blue Jays. He had last faced them on Aug. 12, 2015, with the A’s.
The Blue Jays lost all seven meetings against the A’s last season while being outscored 51-18 — the first time in club history going winless in a year against a single opponent with seven or more matchups.
Toronto avoided dropping eight in a row versus Oakland for the first time since April 26, 1998, to Aug. 15, ’99.
The A’s are now 6-3 against the AL East this season.
Everybody wants to know when top Toronto prospect Vladimir Guerrero will join the Blue Jays from Buffalo — and manager Charlie Montoyo doesn’t mind the immense interest and constant questions.
Outside speculation is it could be early next week — perhaps Tuesday.
“That’s what I like about it that I really don’t know, so I’m not really lying, otherwise you’d see my nose growing,” he said. “I tell my GM, ‘Don’t tell me if you know, I want to be surprised.’ He’s the No. 1 prospect in baseball. I get it. I have fun with it, too. Either the first question or the last one, or in the middle. I appreciate that because we have the No. 1 prospect in baseball and it will be pretty cool when he gets here.”
Athletics: 1B Matt Olson, injured in the Japan series and almost a month out from undergoing right hand surgery, took his first swings off a tee in the hitting progression of his rehab. The timetable of 6-to-8 weeks hasn’t changed for Olson’s likely return.
Blue Jays: RHP Matt Shoemaker (3-0, 1.75 ERA) has allowed five earned runs over 25 2/3 innings in his first season with Toronto after pitching his initial six seasons for the Angels.
Athletics: RHP Mike Fiers (2-1, 7.06) is 6-0 with a 2.38 ERA over his last 10 outings at the Coliseum dating to June 21, 2017.
© 2019 The Canadian Press