There is only so much a team can do against an offense like the Blue Jays have. Even with the A’s going into the series with one of the best pitching staffs in baseball (statistically speaking), it is hard to keep this team from scoring lots of runs, especially in the friendly confines of Rogers Centre. So even though the A’s winning streak was snapped and they lost a series this season, I’m glad they managed to at least get one game and still have a 4-2 record on the current road trip.
Friday night’s game saw the A’s jump out to a 6-1 lead by the fifth inning, highlighted by a Chris Coghlan three-run HR, and they chased starter Aaron Sanchez after just 4 1/3 innings. Normally a 6-1 lead in the hands of Sonny Gray would feel pretty safe, but no lead is safe at Rogers Centre and against this offense. Sonny battled through seven innings, allowing three runs and six hits and striking out seven. By the time the A’s bullpen came into the game, it was 6-3, and, after Ryan Dull got the first two outs but then allowed a couple of baserunners, Sean Doolittle allowed a two-out single to Kevin Pillar that scored a pair and the lead it was a nail-biting 6-5 lead. These were the first two inherited runners that the A’s bullpen has allowed to score all season. That’s how good they’ve been. Doolittle did manage to get Ryan Goins to ground out to end the threat and go into the 9th with the lead still barely intact.
We certainly did not want to go into the 9th with only a one-run lead, not with Josh Donaldson due up third in the inning and the other big boppers looming behind him. And Khris Davis apparently got the memo. Wanting to make sure we know he is definitely over his slump, Davis drove in a pair of runs with a 2-RBI single in the top of the 9th to give the A’s a little bit of breathing room. Ryan Madson pitched a 1-2-3 9th for the save and the A’s won 8-5.
Saturday and Sunday’s games both felt over early. Both starters – Chris Bassitt on Saturday and Eric Surkamp on Sunday – got pretty roughed up early, as Bassitt allowed six earned runs in five innings pitched and gave up two HR, while Surkamp got through just 4 2/3 with six earned runs allowed and also two HR. There was never much of a sense that the A’s could catch up to that kind of offense producing, and they didn’t.
So the A’s get out of Toronto, allowing 20 runs overall to the Blue Jays on the weekend, and managing to win one of the games. I guess I will take it. It’ll be nice to not have to see that lineup for awhile though. Next it’s off to Detroit to finish up the road trip with four games against our old 2012-13 playoff nemesis. Go A’s…