OAKLAND -- The Toronto Blue Jays were supposed to be good this year after their offseason spending spree, yes? At least, maybe that's how the A's can look at things after dropping two of three to the under-achieving bottom feeders from the American League East.
A 5-2 loss in 10 innings Wednesday will sit in the A's craw all the longer with Thursday's off day, especially with how flat Oakland played the final two games of the series after its offense came to life Monday night.
A three-run 10th inning by the Blue Jays sealed the deal.
The A's (63-45) have dropped two in a row after rattling off four straight victories, and with Texas not playing until Wednesday night, Oakland's lead in the American League West was 4 1/2 games.
[RELATED: MLB standings]
Starting pitching report
Bartolo Colon's line did not look all that bad -- six innings, seven hits, two runs, one earned, three walks and a strikeout -- but it was not all that impressive for a purported Cy Young Award candidate, either. Colon, who did not factor into the decision, labored early and often, needing 97 pitches to get through six, and only 53 of those pitches were strikes. In fact, the three walks he issued were the second-most he's had this season, trailing the four free passes he issued the New York Yankees on June 11. At least, for his sake, it appears as though he will not be suspended in the wake of the Biogenesis investigation…per reports.
[RELATED: Bartolo reportedly in the clear]
Ryan Cook replaced Colon in the seventh and pitched an inning-and-a-third of scoreless ball before giving way to Sean Doolittle, who retired the two batters he faced in the eighth. Closer Grant Balfour struck out the side in the ninth. Jesse Chavez took the loss against his former team to fall to 2-3. He was charged with three runs on two hits and an intentional walk after only getting one out in the 10th. Jerry Blevins regressed after two solid outings, giving up a walk and a single to score two runs and Pat Neshek faced two batters, getting two outs.
At the plate
Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson both turned in two-hit games while Chris Young had a double. Both of the A's runs, though, were unearned as Eric Sogard scored on right fielder Jose Bautista's throwing error in the third and Sogard later scored to tie the game at 2-2 in the fifth when Maicer Izturis dropped Brandon Moss' two-out pop up. The A's had the bases loaded with none out in the fourth but could not score after a pair of infield pop ups by Chris Young and Stephen Vogt and a fly out to center by Coco Crisp.
In the field
The sun was clearly on the A's side, right? How else to explain the Blue Jays' comical difficulties in catching pop ups and committing four errors? From third baseman Brett Lawrie losing Chris Young's foul pop up for no-play, to pitcher R.A. Dickey tripping behind the mound and knocking away Lawrie on Eric Sogard's pop up to second baseman Maicer Izturis losing Brandon Moss' pop up in the sun.
The A's announced a crowd of 23,638 at the O.co Coliseum, not too shabby for an afternoon game in the middle of the week against the Blue Jays.
Tweet o' da game
one of the advantages of being in Canada this week for me, Martinez and Tabler -- @AllWorldCD, on the game being broadcast in Toronto, but not in Oakland.
The A's get a day off Thursday before starting a three-game set against second-place Texas in Oakland on Friday. The pitching matchups then: Tommy Milone (9-8, 4.03 ERA) vs. Alexi Ogando (4-3, 3.05), Jarrod Parker (6-6, 4.07) vs. Matt Garza (1-0, 1.88) and A.J. Griffin (10-7, 3.90) vs. Derek Holland (8-6, 3.18).