Series Sum-Up: Blue Jays vs. A's

 Marco Estrada was the losing pitcher in the first game of the Toronto Blue Jays' recent road series against the Oakland A's. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

Marco Estrada was the losing pitcher in the first game of the Toronto Blue Jays' recent road series against the Oakland A's. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

By Emily @JaysGirlEmily

Blue Jays from Away

Game 1: Monday, July 30
Jays lose, 1-10
Losing Pitcher: Marco Estrada

Both teams stranded a pair of walks in the first inning. Mark Canha got the scoring started for the Athletics, with a home run in the second, on the first pitch Marco Estrada threw him. In the third, the Blue Jays again stranded the leadoff batter, a double from Curtis Granderson, as well as a walk. The first two Oakland batters reached in that inning, and Khris Davis scored one with a sac fly. They scored another pair in the fourth, on two singles, a sac fly, and a Nick Martini double. Estrada’s first start after returning from the disabled list came to an end after four innings, with four runs allowed on five hits and three walks. He threw 69 pitches, 40 of which were strikes, but didn’t strike anyone out.

Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) got his third extra-base hit in his last four games, a two-out double in the fifth. But Randal Grichuk flew out on the next pitch. Aaron Loup walked one in a scoreless inning. Edwin Jackson left the game after Teoscar Hernandez doubled, having thrown 6 2/3 scoreless. The Jays had a chance for a comeback in the eighth, when they got a walk and a two-out single off Jeurys Familia. But Hernandez struck out swinging on three pitches, quashing the chance for a rally.

The A’s put the game out of reach in the bottom half, with six runs off Jaime Garcia. Stephen Piscotty led off with a homer, then came a single and a ball that looked to be an easy fly out, but popped out of Hernandez’s glove. Jonathan Lucroy scored both with a double, before Garcia got a strikeout. He then walked Matt Chapman on four pitches, before Jed Lowrie hit another two-run double. A Davis single scored the pinch-runner, before yet another double. After another four-pitch walk, this one to Piscotty (who had led off the inning), the Jays brought in Joe Biagini. Biagini got Canha to ground into a double play, ending the inning. Aledmys Diaz prevented a shutout by homering in the ninth. The Jays finished the game with five hits, against Oakland’s 12.

Game 2: Tuesday, July 31
Blue Jays lose, 2-6
Losing Pitcher: Sam Gaviglio

The Blue Jays had a lead in the first, but it was short-lived. Randal Grichuk doubled, and Kendrys Morales singled to score him. But Sam Gaviglio walked the first two batters he faced, then Khris Davis infield single loaded the bases. Matt Olson drove in a pair with a single. That gave Oakland a leave they would not relinquish. Both leadoff hitters reached in the second, neither scored. Davis led off the third with a home run, his second of three hits. A pair of doubles scored another run, then Marcus Semien stole second but Mark Canha took advantage of the throw to steal home. The call was reviewed, and confirmed.

Gaviglio left the game with two outs in the inning, and Luis Santos got the third out. Justin Smoak scored the other Blue Jays run when he led off the fourth with a homer. Brandon Cumpton made his Blue Jays debut in the fifth and surrendered a double and a walk, but also got a strikeout. He then gave up a run on two hits in the sixth, and walked another batter before Joe Biagini got the final out. The first two Jays reached on fielding errors in the seventh, but were stranded. Biagini pitched the seventh, and Tyler Clippard pitched the eighth. The Blue Jays hit into three double plays; Luke Maile was responsible for two of those.

Game 3: Wednesday, August 1 (Day Game)
Jays lose, 3-8
Losing Pitcher: Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman had the longest start for the Blue Jays in this series, but unfortunately that was only five innings. The Blue Jays recorded back to back singles to start the second, but they were stranded. Jonathan Lucroy touched up Stroman for two runs after Stroman walked the leadoff batter and Matt Olson doubled. The runs were scored with two outs in the inning. They allowed another single but got a strikeout to escape.

Oakland scored two more runs in the fourth, on two hits and a sac fly. Both hits came on the first pitch. Stroman faced three batters in the sixth, but they all singled, so Danny Barnes was brought in with two on, nobody out, and one run already in. Franklin Barreto scored the inherited runners with a double on the first pitch Barnes threw. That was part of a three-hit afternoon for Barreto, one of the players Oakland received in the Josh Donaldson trade. Barnes eventually got a double play to end the inning.

The Blue Jays had gotten six hits and two walks off Sean Manaea over the first six innings, before getting on the board in the seventh. Russell Martin led off with a single, after which Manaea was pulled. Martin was out on a force out, then Darnell Sweeney walked, and Randal Grichuk drove in a run with a double. Martin drove in two runs for the Blue Jays with a homer in the eighth, cashing in a walk. Barreto’s third hit came in the bottom of that inning, a home run to left off Jake Petricka. The Blue Jays left 10 runners on base; the Athletics left seven.

Overall notes:

The Blue Jays made several moves on Monday. The headliner was them trading Roberto Osuna to the Houston Astros. Osuna has been serving a suspension for domestic violence, and would have been eligible to return on August 5. The Blue Jays received Ken Giles and two prospects, Hector Perez and David Paulino, for Osuna. All the three are right-handed pitchers, with Giles recently holding the closer’s role for the Astros. Giles was optioned to triple-A two weeks ago, and before that he held a 4.99 ERA across 30 2/3 innings, with 12 saves.

Marco Estrada was activated from the disabled list before Monday’s game. Oliver Drake was designated for assignment, and to make room on the 40-man roster for Giles, Josh Donaldson was sent to the 60-day disabled list. Brandon Cumpton and Darnell Sweeney were called up to round out the 25-man on Tuesday. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was put on the disabled list on Wednesday after hurting his leg in the past series.

Weirdly Specific Record Alert:

- This is the first time the Blue Jays have been swept in a season series by Oakland. While they lost seven games, they were outscored 51-18.

= Russell Martin’s home run in Game 3 tied J.P. Arencibia for the second-most homers by a Blue Jays catcher. It was Martin’s 63rd in the four seasons he’s been with Toronto.

My Favourite Player(s) this series: Martin

Russell Martin got off to a slow start this season, but is steadily starting to heat up. He has extra-base hits in four consecutive games, including a double and a home run in his two starts this series. He went 3-for-6 with two walks and two runs driven in.

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Emily

Emily is a Communications student who grew up with a Roy Halladay poster on the back of her door. A baseball history nerd, she played softball for nine years and changes her favourite Blue Jay on a regular basis. She fondly remembers going to her first Jays game at age six with her father, and spending the whole time staring at the elevators going up the CN Tower.