A’s starter Aaron Brooks pitched a perfect first inning. The second inning was the complete opposite.
The Blue Jays roughed up Oakland 5-1 Friday night, batting around in a four-run second inning that gave Toronto starter Marcus Stroman plenty enough to hold off the A’s in a eight-inning, six-hit, 109-pitch win.
The A’s bats were flowing in the first. Marcus Semien hit a line drive base hit up the middle off Stroman (W, 1-3, 1.76 ERA). Matt Chapman followed with a RBI double deep in left-center directly over Socrates Brito’s head to bring in Semien for a 1-0 lead and the only Oakland run on the night.
Every batter in Toronto’s lineup came to bat in the second. Two doubles, three singles and a walk allowed the Blue Jays to score four runs.
Brooks wasn’t able to get Toronto to bite at his off speed pitches and explained what went wrong in the second inning:
“I just wasn’t getting ahead of hitters. It is a lot easier to hit when as a hitter you a ahead 2-0 all the time. I just didn’t really have everything working today. I tried to nibble and pick a little too much and fell behind a lot of guys.”
Brooks (L, 2-2, 5.32 ERA) pitched five innings, allowing Brandon Drury to hit his first home run of the season in the fourth off a solid line drive to left field that was just fair. Danny Jansen got his first hit of the season, an RBI double in the second to end his 0-for-23 hitless streak.
Brooks didn’t have a bad night pitching, he just had a tough inning:
“Four runs, most days is not a big deal for our line up but it is also a momentum game as well. When they get a nice four run inning it kinda puts a damper on our team. So my job is just to go out there and try to put up zeros.”
Home plate umpire Laz Diaz tested the patience of players on both teams. Semien was frustrated with Stroman for trying to quick pitch him, and was visibly upset with both Stroman and the umpire for not waiting for him to get settled in the box. Sogard struck out looking on a questionable pitch, and stood in the box afterward. Diaz had to tell him he was out as he stood in the box waiting for the next pitch.
Stroman didn’t like that Semien was talking to him while he was pitching. but Semien didn’t like that Stroman was getting into his windup when he wasn’t looking:
“The next pitch, I literally wasn’t even looking and he was already starting his windup. Usually hitters get frustrated when that happens cause he is just trying to steal a strike when a hitter is not looking.”
The closest the A’s got to a comeback was in the eighth. Chapman had a base hit, then Khris Davis smashed a foul ball that would have been a two-run homer had it been five feet to the left of the foul pole. KD finished the night 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Billy McKinney hit a hard ground ball down the first base line that ended up near Toronto’s bullpen area. Stephen Piscotty ran over and made a throw across the entire field to third base to get the out. It looked like Ramon Laureano was playing right field tonight.
Laureano struck out looking to end the game and was not happy about the call. As Laureano headed to the dugout, the umpire yelled something and Laureano reacted and players had to hold him back from saying more. Melvin didn’t hear what was said, and explained Laureano was frustrated the umpire called a ball a strike to end the game.
Laureano was heated in the moment but is ready to focus on tomorrow’s game:
“It is already in the past. Tomorrow we have a game so just focus on the present. I don’t remember what he said to be honest.”