Blue Jays win 9th straight, beat Athletics 4-2
TORONTO (AP) — Jose Bautista hit a solo home run, Drew Hutchison pitched seven strong innings and the Toronto Blue Jays won their ninth straight game, beating the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Toronto starting pitchers have held the opposition to three earned runs or fewer in 15 consecutive games.
Hutchison (11-2) allowed two runs and four hits in seven-plus innings. The right-hander hadn’t completed seven innings since a complete-game victory over the Chicago White Sox on May 25.
Hutchison is 9-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 12 home starts and 2-1 with a 9.00 ERA in 11 road outings.
Hutchison left to a standing ovation after Marcus Semien’s infield single to begin the eighth inning. Aaron Sanchez came on and surrendered an RBI single to Billy Burns but escaped by striking out Coco Crisp looking and getting Josh Reddick on a comebacker.
Roberto Osuna finished for his 11th save.
The Blue Jays thought they had turned a double play to end the top of the first but a replay challenge showed Reddick beat out shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s relay throw. Former Toronto infielder Danny Valencia followed with an RBI double past a diving Kevin Pillar in center, giving the Athletics a 1-0 lead.
Oakland’s run snapped a stretch of 26 consecutive scoreless innings by Blue Jays pitchers, a streak that began in the third inning of Friday’s 10-inning victory over the New York Yankees.
It also marked the first time Toronto had trailed since the second inning of their Aug. 5 game against Minnesota, a 44-inning stretch.
Oakland wasn’t in front for long. Chris Colabello opened the Blue Jays second with a double that bounced over the head of Crisp in left, then scored on a throwing error by shortstop Semien. Justin Smoak followed with an RBI double, Pillar reached on Eric Sogard’s fielding error and Ryan Goins made it 3-1 with a grounder.
Bautista made it 4-1 with a two-out homer into the second deck in the fifth, his 27th. Toronto has homered in 10 consecutive games and 22 of 23 since the All-Star break.
Oakland right-hander Kendall Graveman (6-8) allowed four runs, two earned, and five hits in 4 2-3 innings. Graveman is winless in six starts.
Athletics: DH Billy Butler was not in the starting lineup for the third straight game.
Blue Jays: 1B Edwin Encarnacion (left middle finger) sat out his second straight game. He is day to day.
Athletics: RHP Aaron Brooks (1-0, 2.41 ERA) will make his third start for Oakland since being acquired in a trade with Kansas City. He’s 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA in two starts with the Athletics.
Blue Jays: RHP R.A. Dickey (6-10, 3.93 ERA) will move up a day to start Wednesday, pushing Mark Buehrle back a day and giving the veteran left-hander six days off between starts. Toronto is 4-0 in Dickey’s past four starts, and he’s lowered his ERA by .60 in that span.