Blue Jays Leave West Coast With A Win Against The Athletics

The fuzzy character in the background is Rajai Davis taking off from second base. The white baseball in the top of the picture will be bunted shortly after this picture was taken and Davis would score on the sacrifice.

Blue Jays 6 Athletics 5

Game 4 of the four-game series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Oakland Athletics started off with speed and excitement, courtesy of Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose.

In the top of the 1st inning, leadoff hitter Rajai Davis lined a double to left field to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Davis' longest career hit streak was 14, recorded in September 2009 with the A's. Rookie Anthony Gose came up and dropped a very nice bunt on the first pitch from A's starter Tommy Milone. Catcher Derek Norris had a little bit of trouble handling it before he snapped a quick throw to Chris Carter at first base, barely getting Gose. Because Davis was on the move with the pitch, he was able to run all the way around to score the game's first run. It had seemed like a long time since Toronto scored first in a game--it's surprisingly fun!

The A's quickly tied the game up in the bottom of the 2nd on a Norris double, and took a 3-run lead in the following inning with one big swing by Josh Reddick. Aaron Laffey did not look good to start the game, but settled down quite nicely and faced 1 above the minimum for his final finished the game with an OK line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 4 K. Not bad for someone who shouldn't be in a Major League rotation, I guess.

After the big inning by Oakland, Edwin Encarnacion answered by hitting a 2-run homerun in the next half-inning to close the deficit to 4-3. In the next inning, we saw the baseball gods give mercy to the Blue Jays finally. Moises Sierra and Adeiny Hechavarria led of the inning with two quick outs, and then Rajai Davis appeared to have hit an inning-ending popup to short, but it was not caught by anyone because the bright Californian sun. After a Gose double and an intentional walk to Encarnacion, Yunel Escobar ripped a 2-run single to left field then Kelly Johnson hit a short looper to plate Encarnacion to make it 6-4 Jays.

Brandon Lyon, Aaron Loup, and Steve Delabar came out to pitch the 7th and 8th, with Lyon giving up an RBI-double to Coco Crisp. Lyon struck out the side in the 6th and Delabar had a key strikeout to end the 7th.

Casey Janssen was then called in to finish the game in the 9th with the score at 6-5 for his first save situation since mid-July. It became a bit of a nervous ninth.

Derek Norris hit two balls hard and deep against Janssen, but both thankfully landed foul, before whiffing on a great pitch by the Blue Jays' closer. Janssen then walked Brandon Moss, who was pinch ran for by Eric Sogard. The next batter, Jemile Weeks hit a line drive down the 3rd base line for extra bases, but Yan Gomes made a great snag and threw it across the diamond to a stretched out David Cooper to double up Sogard. The game ended up like it started--with an exciting play.

Blue Jays of the Day! Yunel Escobar (+.193), Edwin Encarnacion (+.185), Casey Janssen (+.183--although he should some of the WPA with Gomes and Cooper), Kelly Johnson (+.111), the Sun (+?).

Aaron Laffey got the win but had Suckage Jay numbers (-.128), and Jeff Mathis barely qualified (-.100).

Chad Jenkins, who was called up before the game today, was in Oakland, but did not see any action. He joins the rest of his new teammates on a flight to Tampa, Florida, who will rest tomorrow before starting a three-game series against the Rays. Let's see if these new-looking Blue Jays can make it three wins in a row!

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