After Kazmir gets traded, Athletics lose to Blue Jays 5-2
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The veterans on the Oakland Athletics — the few who have been on the team long enough to understand, anyway — have grown accustomed to watching teammates get traded away unexpectedly.
It still never gets any easier when it happens.
Hours after scheduled starter Scott Kazmir was traded to Houston for two minor league prospects on Thursday, the A’s lost 5-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The news of Kazmir’s trade caught players by surprise. They spent the morning saying goodbye to Kazmir as he packed his belongings in the clubhouse, and they looked equally baffled by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey’s tricky tosses.
“All the talks and speculation of him going is something you can kind of try to prepare for, but once it actually happens it is tough to see somebody like that go,” right fielder Josh Reddick said.
Drew Pomeranz started in Kazmir’s place but didn’t last long. Pomeranz gave up two runs in 1 2-3 innings, and the bullpen also struggled to contain Toronto’s potent hitters.
Russell Martin homered, doubled and drove in three runs, and Josh Donaldson went deep against his former team as the majors’ highest-scoring offense continued its second-half roll.
Pomeranz learned he was starting less than three hours before the game and had little time to prepare. He hadn’t started since May 18.
“If I’d found out in advance, maybe I’d do a few things different. But finding out today there’s not much you can do,” he said.
Dickey (4-10) had about a day’s notice before his pushed-up appearance. He allowed two runs and five hits in 8 1-3 innings in place of ill starter Drew Hutchison, who is scheduled to take the mound in Friday’s series opener at Seattle instead.
Dickey struck out six and walked one for his first win in six starts. His previous victory came against his former club, the New York Mets, on June 18.
Bo Schultz got Ike Davis to ground into a double play for his first career save.
Dan Otero (2-4) allowed two runs in three innings for the A’s, who are 3-3 since the All-Star break. They are far out of contention in the AL West and suddenly trying to make something out of what is turning out to be a lost season.
“Everybody is sorry to see Scott go on a personal level, but it’s our job to go out there and focus on one particular day,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Martin’s 14th homer in the second inning gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. It was his second long ball in three days at the Coliseum, which plays shorter in the dry afternoon sunshine than the thick air at night.
Billy Burns hit an RBI single and scored the tying run for the A’s on Reddick’s grounder in the third.
In the fourth, Martin doubled with two outs and scored on Chris Colabello’s double to put the Blue Jays back in front. And Donaldson drove his 23rd homer to deep right-center off Otero in the fifth.
Martin had a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Donaldson looked comfortable in his first series back in Oakland since being traded in the offseason for 3B Brett Lawrie, RHP Kendall Graveman, LHP Sean Nolin and minor league SS Franklin Barreto. He finished 5 for 13 with one home run, two doubles and three RBIs in three games.
“I said before the series started, this wasn’t just a normal series for me. There were definitely some emotions there,” Donaldson said.
Blue Jays: SS Jose Reyes was replaced in the eighth after a ball hit him in the face. Burns slid head-first into Reyes’ left ankle at second while hustling for a double, and the ball popped up and caused Reyes’ mouth to bleed. Reyes said he should be fine.
Athletics: OF Coco Crisp continues to progress from a neck injury that has sidelined him since May 20. Melvin said no decision has been made on whether Crisp will make a minor league rehab assignment, which he has turned down in the past.
Blue Jays: Hutchison (9-2, 5.19 ERA) is scheduled to start against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez on Friday. If Hutchison is still ill and unable to make the start, then RHP Marco Estrada will take the mound.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez (5-9, 3.21 ERA), who tossed six scoreless innings in his last start against Minnesota, looks to carry the momentum into the Bay Bridge Series opener at San Francisco.