OAKLAND -– Jeff Samardzija showed up to the Coliseum early Sunday morning, donned his A’s uniform and was raring to go.
In his first start since being acquired by Oakland, the 6-foot-5 right-hander did not disappoint. He held the Toronto Blue Jays to four hits and one run over seven innings as the A’s completed a four-game sweep with a 4-2 victory. It marked just the second four-game sweep of the Blue Jays in Oakland history, and it completed quite the turnaround after the A’s got swept in Detroit coming into this series.
Samardzija, acquired from the Cubs along with right-hander Jason Hammel in a deal completed Friday, allowed two first-inning singles but kept Toronto off the board. After that, he gave up just three base runners over the final six innings. He struck out five and his excitement over the trade that he referred to in a Saturday press conference was evident on the mound.
He finished his day by striking out the side in the seventh, pumping his arm and yelling as Juan Francisco went down looking on a breaking ball for the third out.
Starting pitching report
Samardzija threw 108 pitches over seven innings. And though he’s a workhorse who’s thrown as many as 126 this season, A’s manager Bob Melvin had no problem letting his prized addition finish on a high note.
Samardzija pumped his fastball consistently in the mid-90’s, touching as high as 97. He also showed a nasty split-fingered fastball and mixed in the occasional slider. Overall, he showed the shutdown stuff that the A’s surely had in mind in acquiring him.
Eric O’Flaherty handled an uneventful eighth. Sean Doolittle allowed a leadoff homer to Steve Tolleson in the ninth but nailed down his 13th save.
At the plate
The A’s took a lead in the second when Jed Lowrie doubled and cam around to score on Craig Gentry’s infield single. Run-scoring singles from Nate Freiman and John Jaso in the fourth made it 3-0. With the score 3-1, Derek Norris split the gap with a double to left-center that scored Gentry for an insurance run in the eighth.
In the field
The A’s played an errorless ballgame.
The announced turnout was 22,897.
The Bay Bridge Series -– regular season version –- begins Monday with a two-game series at the Coliseum. Jesse Chavez (6-5, 3.23) goes against Ryan Vogelsong (5-5, 3.86) in the 7:05 p.m. opener. Sonny Gray (8-3, 3.08) opposes Madison Bumgarner (9-6, 3.09) Tueday at 7:05 p.m.
On Wednesday, the scene shifts to AT&T Park. Jason Hammel (8-5, 2.98 ERA) is likely to make his A’s debut against Matt Cain (1-7, 4.27) in a 7:15 game. Thursday’s finale pits Scott Kazmir (10-3, 2.53) against Tim Hudson (7-5, 2.53) at 12:45 p.m.