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Game #59: A’s Fall to Blue Jays in Finale

Home runs continue to plague Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas as the A’s fail to secure a series sweep for the 24th time this season.

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Coming into this afternoon’s series finale, only 5 teams: the Padres, Giants, Marlins, Tigers, and you guessed it, the Athletics, had yet to complete a series sweep this season. Despite striking first and hitting well enough in this one to win, the A’s once again fall short.

Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas combined to allow all four of the Blue Jays’ home runs, which lead to all 7 of their runs. Together, the duo own the team lead for home runs allowed at 9 a piece.

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Oakland struck first against Liriano in the bottom of the 1st inning when Khris Davis hit his 8th double of the season to score Rajai Davis, who had led off the game with a double. The RBI for Davis was his 37th on the season and his 6th career RBI versus Liriano.
Toronto 0, Oakland 1

Jharel Cotton kept the A’s lead in tact for all of one batter when Toronto’s Justin Smoak hit an opposite-field blast to lead off the second inning.

With 2 outs in the inning, Cotton’s long-ball issues continued when, with two Blue Jays aboard and a 1-2 count, Kevin Pillar drove a pitch to essentially the same spot that Smoak’s home run had landed. The two home runs allowed by Cotton were his team-leading 8th and 9th home runs allowed on the season. In his short major league career, Cotton’s worst inning in a game is by far the second, where he has now allowed 16 earned runs in 15 of those frames, while 7 of his 13 career home runs allowed were also in the 2nd inning.
Toronto 4, Oakland 1

The A’s found themselves fairly lucky in the 3rd inning when Rajai Davis scored on Khris Davis’ 38th RBI when Toronto’s Ryan Goins was slow to turn a potential inning ending double play.
Toronto 4, Oakland 2

Trevor Plouffe entered the contest with 3 career home runs against Liriano in just 7 career at-bats. Plouffe would add another—his 7th of the year—with a shot to left field in the 4th inning.
Toronto 4, Oakland 3

The A’s would tie it up again with another run in the 5th inning when Chad Pinder hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Rajai Davis, who tripled. Davis, who entered the game with the most at-bats against Liriano (9-for-30 in his career), hit a double, single, and a triple in his first 3 ABs. If he had managed a home run in this game, he would have been the first Athletic to hit for the cycle since Mark Ellis accomplished the feat just two days earlier in 2007.
Toronto 4, Oakland 4

Liam Hendriks, who pitched a perfect 8th and 9th inning against his former team, couldn’t pitch forever. Eventually, Frankie Montas would enter in a dead-locked 10th inning and wouldn’t be outdone by Cotton. Montas also allowed two home runs—one to Josh Donaldson that would give Toronto the lead at 6-4, and another to Justin Smoak for good measure. Montas re-tied Cotton for team-lead in home runs with his 8th and 9th allowed this season. 5 of those home runs have been in Frankie’s previous 3 outings.
Toronto 7, Oakland 4

With two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Matt Joyce would collect his 26th RBI when he drove in Rajai Davis to make it 7-5. With the tying run at the plate, Jed Lowrie collected Oakland’s 13th strikeout on the day and the A’s fall by a final score of:
Toronto 7, Oakland 5

All and all, 5 runs should be enough to earn a victory. The biggest problem today was once again Jharel’s control and his special ability to give up 2-out home runs with 2-strike counts. Cotton came in with the highest walk-rate of any starting pitcher on the team and tied with Montas for the team-lead in home runs allowed. Jharel added four more walks and both he and Montas would allow up 2 more long balls that led to all of Toronto’s runs. At 9 home runs allowed each, they own the team lead.

The A’s will now continue their streak of 24 consecutive series’ without a sweep before moving on to St. Petersburg to take on the Rays. Andrew Triggs (5-5, 3.36 ERA) will face Alex Cobb (4-5, 4.52 ERA) in Game 1.