Tuesday night’s game between the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays took a bit of a back seat to some trade news, and the on-the-field happenings were easily forgettable as the A’s fell 5-0 in a one-sided matchup.
Billy Beane made a rare trade within the division, acquiring infielder Alberto Callaspo from the Angels for Grant Green, who got a brief audition at the Major League level recently at second base with the A’s.
The trade made it a bit easier to overlook Dan Straily’s third straight loss. The right-hander gave up six hits, two of them home runs, and he’d leave the game in the fifth inning as Toronto’s offense broke through with some help from Oakland’s defensive mistakes.
Jose Bautista hit a two-out home run on a line drive to the left field corner in the top of the first, giving Toronto a quick 1-0 lead on the club’s fourth homer of the series. Straily settled down over the next two innings, but then gave up three consecutive singles that led to another score for the Blue Jays in the fourth. Originally it looked like Yoenis Cespedes would be able to hold Edwin Encarnacion at third on the RBI to left by Colby Rasmus, but he bobbled the ball, allowing Encarnacion to cross the plate with ease.
Straily officially came undone in the fifth. A lead off home run by Emilio Bonifacio made it 3-0, followed by a walk to Jose Reyes, which caused Curt Young to come out and have a talk with his young pitcher. Straily came back and got Maicer Izturis to hit a grounder to Adam Rosales, but the shortstop threw wide of Jed Lowrie at second base going for the double play, and Reyes scored easily as the ball rolled into right field.
Straily shook it off and retired the next two batters, but a walk to Adam Lind put him at 96 pitches, and Melvin didn’t hesitate to bring in Dan Otero to finish the inning. Rasmus got his second RBI of the night on a line drive to right to score Izturis, and with a 5-0 lead the Blue Jays were in command, and it’d stay that way for the rest of the game.
All the while Oakland’s offense was quieted by the arm of Mark Buehrle. They made contact often against the left-hander, but they couldn’t find the gaps or get the big hit they needed to drive in baserunners in the few opportunities they did have. Buehrle pitched through the seventh and left the game having surrendered a mere five hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
The A’s tried to stage a comeback against Blue Jays closer Darren Oliver in the ninth, but to no avail. Lowrie led off with a double off the wall in left-center, and Cespedes beat out a throw on a grounder to short to put two men on for Josh Donaldson, who hit into a double play to put an end to the rally.
Nate Freiman grounded out for the final out in the next at-bat, and the A’s will move on quickly from this loss as the transaction Beane pulled off earlier in the night overshadowed much of the coverage of the actual game.
The deciding game in the series takes place tomorrow at 12:35, with two Cy Young winners facing off as R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon will both toe the rubber.