The Oakland Athletics put up a good fight, but came up just short in a 6-5 loss in 10 innings to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Luis Medina returned from the injured list to start Monday’s game and worked around a two-out single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in a scoreless first. He showed good velocity with his fastball sitting around 97 mph.
The A’s threatened in the first against Jose Berrios who walked Tony Kemp to start the inning. Zack Gelof followed with a bunt single to move Kemp into scoring position. Berrios answered back though striking out Ryan Noda and Brent Rooker before Seth Brown flew out to end the inning.
Medina settled in and retired eight-straight hitters before running into some trouble in the fourth. He retired Cavan Biggio to start the inning, but then walked Guerrero and hit Spencer Horwitz to put runners at first and second. However, Medina got the ground ball he needed from Whit Merrifield as he sent one to Jordan Diaz who stepped on the bag at third and then threw across the diamond to complete the double play.
Berrios matched Medina pitch-for-pitch retiring 12 straight Oakland hitters after Gelof’s bunt single.
Medina walked Alejandro Kirk and Daulton Varsho to start the fifth. Ernie Clement followed with a single to center that loaded the bases. Kevin Kiermaier then sent the first pitch he saw out to Nick Allen who stepped on the bag at second and then threw to first in time for the double play. Kirk scored on the play to put Toronto in front 1-0. Medina then got ahead of George Springer 0-2, but couldn’t put him away as he sent a double to right that scored Varsho to push the lead to 2-0. That would end Medina’s day as Mark Kotsay would summon Sean Newcomb from the bullpen. Cavan Biggio greeted him with a soft single to left that scored Springer to make it 3-0. Newcomb got Guerrero to pop out on the infield to finally bring the inning to an end.
Medina’s stuff looked good, but the back-to-back walks to start the fifth came back to haunt him. He allowed three hits, three walks and three runs over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three while throwing 70 pitches.
Berrios ran his streak to 14 straight retired before Lawrence Butler homered to center to put the A’s on the board at 3-1.
Newcomb worked a scoreless sixth and the A’s crept closer in the home half of the inning. Gelof singled with one out and then stole second for his 10th stolen base of the season. He was then picked off by Berrios at second and that would prove costly as Noda took Berrios deep for his 14th home run of the season to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Newcomb retired the side in order again in the seventh retiring the last seven hitters he faced. Yimi Garcia replaced Berrios to start the seventh and allowed a game-tying solo home run to Jordan Diaz, his 10th of the season.
Lucas Erceg took over for the A’s in the eighth and walked Springer to start the inning. He got Biggio to fly out for the first out, but then allowed a single to Guerrero to put runners at first and second prompting a visit from pitching coach Scott Emerson. Erceg jumped ahead of Horwitz 0-2 and then got him to line out to Allen at short for the second out. He followed that up with a strikeout of Merrifield, finishing him off with a 99 mph sinker.
Nick Allen led off the eighth with a single off of new Blue Jays reliever Jay Jackson. Allen moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt by Kemp. Gelof was then retired on a ground out on a nice diving stop at third by Biggio for the second out. Toronto would then bring in lefty Genesis Cabrera to face Noda who grounded out to first to leave Allen at third.
Erceg came back out for the ninth and retired the side in order. Brent Rooker singled to start the ninth against Cabrera. Aledmys Diaz then came on as a pinch-hitter for Seth Brown, but went down swinging for the first out. With Jordan Diaz coming to the plate, the Blue Jays then went to closer Jordan Romano.
Esteury Ruiz then entered the game as a pinch runner for Rooker at first and wasted no time stealing his 55th base of the season to move into scoring position. Ruiz then swiped third, but Jordan Diaz went down swinging for the second out. However, Shea Langeliers popped out to Horwitz in foul territory to leave the runner stranded sending the game to extra innings.
Things went south in a hurry for the A’s in the 10th. Francisco Perez replaced Erceg to start the 10th while pinch-runner Mason McCoy entered as the runner at second. Santiago Espinal jumped on the first pitch he saw from Perez and yanked it into the left field corner for a double scoring McCoy to put the Blue Jays back in front 4-3. Perez got Springer to ground out sharply to third for the first out, but Biggio followed with a single to center that scored Espinal to put Toronto in front 5-3.
Perez was replaced by Spencer Patton who walked Guerrero to put runners at first and second. Horwitz then delivered a double to the left field gap that scored Biggio to make it 6-3. Guerrero also scored on the play, but the A’s challenged that the ball got stuck under the wall in left field. Replay overturned the call and put Guerrero back at third base. Oakland then intentionally walked Merrifield to load the bases before Kirk popped out to Gelof in shallow center for the second out. Patton then got Varsho to fly out to finally end the inning.
Romano stayed in to pitch for the Blue Jays and Langeliers began the home half of the 10th at second base. He would come around to score as Butler went deep again for a two-run shot to right to make it 6-5.
Tyler Soderstrom came off the bench to pinch-hit for Allen and struck out for the first out. Kemp then walked to put the tying run on base, but Gelof bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The loss drops the A’s to 42-96 on the season and snaps their three-game winning streak. The series will continue Tuesday with Ken Waldichuk matching up against former A’s starter Chris Bassitt.