Mengden’s leads A’s over Blue Jays 9-2 for rare 4-game sweep
TORONTO (AP) — Daniel Mengden helped the surging Athletics finish off a sweep and gave Oakland’s beleaguered bullpen a much-needed break.
Mengden allowed two hits over seven shutout innings to win his second straight start, a 9-2 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday that completed a four-game sweep.
Marcus Semien hit a two-run home run and had three RBIs, and Matt Chapman had three hits and a walk as Oakland swept a four-game road series for the first time since September 2016 at Kansas City.
“We got swept here last year so it feels good to come out here and get some wins,” Chapman said.
Oakland lost four straight at Toronto last July, including a pair of walk-offs.
Toronto designated hitter Kendrys Morales had two of Toronto’s four hits and made his first big league pitching appearance with a scoreless ninth. Morales, who once pitched in the Cuban league, worked around a one-out walk and got three flyouts.
Oakland went 7-3 on a trip to the New York Yankees, Boston, and Toronto, homering in every game. The A’s are 12-4 against the AL East.
“It’s probably the toughest road trip we have all year, and to go 7-3 is amazing,” Mengden said. “We’re really hot right now.”
It’s Oakland’s first seven-win trip since April 2014, when the A’s swept Minnesota and went 2-1 against the Mariners and Angels.
Mengden (4-4) gave up a pair of singles, struck out two and walked one.
“With an off day tomorrow, we’re caught up in our bullpen,” Melvin said. “That was big for us.”
Oakland relievers combined to pitch 18 2/3 innings over the first three games of the series. Right-hander Andrew Triggs left Thursday’s series opener in the third inning with a nerve irritation in a hand. Lefty Brett Anderson came out after one inning Friday because of a sore shoulder.
On Sunday, Oakland designated hitter Khris Davis left in the fourth inning because of a strained right groin. Davis was unable to run hard on his grounder to shortstop, limped off and headed down the tunnel to the clubhouse.
“He didn’t feel a pop, which is encouraging, but typically those things aren’t one or two days,” Melvin said.
Toronto was swept in a four-game home series for the first time since May 31 to June 3, 2001, against Boston. The Blue Jays have lost 12 of their last 15 at Rogers Centre, including six in a row, their longest home skid since July 2013.
Toronto had its first four-error game since May 18, 2014, at Texas, and the miscues led to five unearned runs. There were multiple rounds of boos from the crowd of 30,676.
“It was ugly,” manager John Gibbons said. “We’re on a bad stretch right now. We’re not playing real good baseball in a bunch of different areas.”
Third baseman Josh Donaldson made one fielding error and misplayed two other balls.
“I’ve got to be better, plain and simple,” Donaldson said.
Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run homer off Wilmer Font in the ninth.
Joe Biagini (0-3) allowed four runs — three earned — and six hits in four-plus innings. He has lost eight straight decisions, including relief appearances, and is 0-10 in 13 starts since winning at Texas on June 21 last year.
VLAD’S BIG DAY
Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 4 for 4 and hit a walkoff home run in the first game of a doubleheader for Double-A New Hampshire. Guerrero also singled in his first at bat in the second game.
Morales was the first Blue Jays position player to take the mound in a regular season game since infielders Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney in a 19-inning loss to Cleveland on July 1, 2016. Morales became the 11th position player to pitch for the Blue Jays.
Athletics: Oakland claimed RHP Carlos Ramirez off waivers from the Blue Jays. ... Davis leads the A’s with 13 home runs.
Blue Jays: C Russell Martin got the day off.
Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill (2-1, 2.79) starts Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series against Seattle. RHP Mike Leake (4-3, 6.00) starts for the Mariners. Cahill is 5-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 13 starts against Seattle.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (5-3, 4.15) will be on the mound Tuesday for the opener of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Happ pitched seven shutout innings against the New York Mets in his previous start.
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