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Blue Jays erupt for 10 runs against A’s in Saturday blowout

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The Blue Jays exploded Saturday, pummeling the A’s 10-1 in Toronto’s best game of the season to clinch a series win in Oakland.

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Mike Fiers didn’t give up a single hit in the first two innings but from that point on, the A’s pitching went downhill. The A’s used a total of six pitchers — including first baseman Kendrys Morales.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the A’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.

Toronto’s entire lineup made a plate appearance again, this time in the fourth inning. Fiers gave up back to back base hits to left field from Justin Smoak and Teoscar Hernandez. Rowdy Tellez and Brandon Drury followed with back-to-back home runs, and it didn’t stop there.  A Billy McKinney double and two more base hits were made before the five-run half-inning would come to an end.

Fiers was pulled after 3-1/3 innings and gave up nine hits, six earned runs and four strikeouts. Toronto had a season-high for most runs (10), hits (15), total bases (26) and extra bases in a single game, and their three home runs matched a season-best. 

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Fiers said he felt the best he has all season, but expressed confusion on why he hasn’t been getting the job done:

“It kinda happened all pretty quick. It is tough right now. It is tough for me, just not doing anything right. That’s what it feels like. For a team that is as good as we are, it’s tough. It is a tough feeling to go out there and make it harder for them everyday.”

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Toronto starter Matt Shoemaker pitched well until he was injured tagging out Matt Chapman, who was caught in a inning-ending rundown in the third. Shoemaker (ND, 3 IP, 1.57 ERA) suffered an injured left knee on the tag, hopping on the field with one leg after the play before being carried off the field.

Bob Melvin touched on why the A’s haven’t been on their A-game:

“We have been stagnant, it hasn’t just been on the pitching end. We have not swung the bats well. Houston pitched us really tough, Stroman was a really tough game yesterday, you get tired of saying everybody is tough. Shoemaker comes out the game and we still don’t do much after that. We have to get on a little better roll offensively.”

During the seventh inning, a fan ran onto right field and was chased down by a security guard. He tried to climb back into the stands but was thrown back to the field. He was booed while being escorted out and flipped off fans while exiting. He even took the security guard’s hat off. 

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Piscotty was able to witness it first hand:

“That is the first time that has happened to me. I mean, Ive seen them on the field but I’ve never seen them charge a player. That’s crossing the line quite a bit. … He was clearly intoxicated or high or something. He was in a weird place.”

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It happened again in the ninth inning, this time in left field. A different fan ran all the way into the infield, rounded second then first and made his way to the pitcher’s mound. He mimicked a pitchers wind up and then was thrown down by umpire Jeff Nelson near second base.

The A’s box score was straight zeroes until the ninth. Their three hits came from Chapman and Piscotty, all singles. Chapman had hits in the first and third innings and Piscotty followed Chapman’s base hit in the first. Sam Gaviglio (W, 2-0, 1.20 ERA) and Elvis Luciano hurled five-straight 1-2-3 innings before the A’s could scratch across a run on a Mark Canha sac fly that scored Robbie Grossman, who had doubled.

Robbie Grossman hit a double to left field, Piscotty singled to right, Canha hit a sac fly to score Grossman. Morales walked, Pinder had an infield single to short stop, and bases are loaded with two outs with Profar up to bat. Profar flew out to end the game. 

First baseman Kendrys Morales came in to pitch in the ninth inning, the second pitching appearance of his career. The first time was in Toronto against the A’s last May 20, with Oakland ahead 9-0. Saturday, after switching teams, Morales took the mound again, also down 9-0.

Morales gave up a run after walking Galvis, giving up a base hit to Tellez and then pegging Drury. A sacrifice fly from Smoak drove in Galvis for the 10-0 lead. 

Fiers now has a 8.28 ERA, giving up nine hits and six runs in 3-1/3 innings. He said he was frustrated with himself after the game and spoke about the team as a whole and how they have been playing early this season:

“We’re not consistent, we’re not being consistent at all. We’re not playing the game that we usually play and teams are beating us right now. We need to get that fire back and we need to come out and pitch and hit and do all the things right to win ball games.”

Liam Hendricks went 1.2 innings and gave up three hits and one run, his ERA went up to 2.19 ERA. Ryan Buchter pitched a single inning and gave up two hits and two runs finishing with a 7.71 ERA. J.B Wendelken pitched an inning with two strikeouts and has the lowest ERA of all the pitchers today, 3. 38.

Fernando Rodney pitched one perfect inning and his ERA remains at 8.00.

On Deck

The A’s finish the Toronto series on Easter Sunday at 1:07 p.m. Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.86 ERA) takes on LHP Brett Anderson (3-0, 2.63 ERA).

Notes

Fiers snapped a six-game winning streak at the Coliseum that went as far back as June of 2017. … A perfect eighth inning from Fernando Rodney tied the legendary Cy Young in career appearances with 906. Over their respective careers, Young started 815 games, winning 511 while throwing 7,356 innings — all MLB records. Rodney has thrown 894-1/3 innings with zero starts since 2002. … Kendrys Morales became the 13th position player to pitch in Oakland history. … Khris Davis is now 0-for-11 in this series. … The A’s had their highest attendance of the season Saturday at 31,140.

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