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Jays Beat A’s 7-2

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

That was fun. Every starter got on base (and six of them did it twice or more). The pitching was good all the way, although Yimi Garcia did leave with an apparent injury. Good teams are supposed to overpower awful teams, and today they did.

Jose Berrios was solid today. He struck out two in a clean first inning, but conceded one run in each of the second and third. The first run came off a Seth Brown leadoff homer, the second from a hit batter and a Ryan Noda double.

The third and fourth were smooth, with a couple more Ks in each and only one base runner (a Noda walk). The A’s did tack on an unearned run in the sixth, when Jace Peterson walked after a very dicey ball 3 call, Shea Langeliers reached on a Bo Bichette throwing error, and Tyler Wade hit a soft chopper that just ticked off a diving Santiago Espinal’s glove to bring Peterson home.

In the end, he went 6 innings, allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, 2 walks and a hit batter, striking out 8. With better D behind him and just a big better luck with the umpires, he could likely have gone 7 with just two runs. It was his best start in over a month.

Tim Mayza was called on to face the lefty heavy top of the A’s lineup and worked a 1-2-3 seventh.

In the eighth, Nate Pearson was given the chance to bounce back from a pair of rough outings. He took a few pitches to find his release point, but turned in a clean inning.

Yimi Garcia was tabbed to finish it off. He have up a pair of singles and a ground out that advanced the runners to second and third. He recorded the second out on a Kemp pop fly, but at that point called for the trainer and was taken out of the game. It wasn’t immediately clear what was wrong, and it seemed like he talked for Jose Ministral for a while before the decision was made to pull him. Hopefully he’s not seriously hurt. Jordan Romano got the call for the final out and blew Noda away.

The A’s went with an opener in Shintaro Fujinami. Fujinami, an MLB rookie but a 10 year standout with the NPB’s Hanshin Tigers, regularly hit 102mph but struggled to locate and wasn’t fooling the Jays hitters. George Springer lead off with a single and Bichette hooked a double around the third base bag to put two men in scoring position. Brandon Belt brought Springer home with a sac fly to make it 1-0. Vlad Guerrero jr. grounded out but advanced Bichette, and Matt Chapman scored him on a flare into shallow right field.

After a Whit Merrifield ground ball single, Mark Kotsay pulled the plug on Fujinami and called for bulk guy Hogan Harris, who got Daulton Varsho to ground out to end it.

They’d manufacture a third run in the bottom of the second. Espinal doubled, Springer reached on a bad throw (though it was credited as a hit), Belt walked to load them up with two out, and Guerrero took a curveball off his foot (he was fine) to force the run in.

In the third they decided to get their runs the easy way. Varsho worked a one out walk, and Danny Jansen launched a towering shot into the left field stands to put them up 5-2.

Harris had an easy go of it in the fourth and fifth except for a Guerrero walk. In the sixth, though, he gave up a one out bloop single to Belt and that was it. Austin Pruitt was brought in to face Guerrero, and it’s safe to say Harris could have done at least as well. Vlad fired a mortar into the centre field camera platform to extend the lead to 7-3.

Pruitt came back and did better in the seventh, retiring the Jays in order.

Sam Long handled the eighth and allowed a line single to Guerrero but no runs.

Jays of the Day: only Vlad (0.178) and Jansen (0.131) had the number because almost everyone was in positive territory

Not So Much: nobody

The rubber match goes tomorrow at 1:37pm ET. Yusei Kikuchi (6-2, 3.97) will represent the home side, while Luis “Funky Cold” Medina (1-6, 7.01) will go for the visitors.