Blue Jays defeat A's to open weekend series
Danny Jansen highlighted a four-run second inning with a two-RBI double and right-hander Marcus Stroman pitched into the ninth for his first win of the season as the Toronto Blue Jays rolled over the host Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Brandon Drury took A's starter Aaron Brooks deep for his first home run of the season, helping Toronto win for the fourth time in five games on their seven-game trip.
Stroman (1-3), who had watched the Blue Jays score a total of six runs in his first four starts, got an early boost from the four-run second.
After a double by Justin Smoak, a walk to Teoscar Hernandez and a single by Billy McKinney loaded the bases with no outs in a game the A's already led 1-0, Brooks (2-2) got one out before Socrates Brito got Toronto even with an RBI single.
Jansen, batting ninth, followed with his two-run hit, raising his season RBI total from one to three.
Eric Sogard, a popular former member of the A's, capped the big inning with an RBI single.
Drury's homer, a liner down the left field line, led off the fourth inning and completed the game's scoring.
Stroman was dominant in his eight-plus innings, allowing one run and six hits. He walked two and struck out six.
Up 5-1, he made a bid for his fourth career complete game -- and first since April of 2017 -- before former teammate Kendrys Morales led off the ninth inning with a double.
Stroman was pulled at that point, with Ken Giles coming on to get the final three outs, two via strikeouts.
After giving up a run in the first inning and stranding a runner at third, Stroman allowed just one baserunner to reach in each of the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings -- none of them ever advancing beyond first base -- before Morales led off the ninth with his double.
The impressive outing wasn't Stroman's best of the season. He left a 0-0 game after seven shutout innings on Opening Day against Detroit, and had allowed just five earned runs in his first four starts.
He took a 1.99 ERA into Friday's game, and improved it to 1.76.
The A's only run off Stroman came three batters into the game, when Matt Chapman doubled home Marcus Semien, who had singled.
Brooks, who took a 57.86 career ERA against the Blue Jays into the game, improved on that mark in defeat, allowing five runs and six hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five.
McKinney, a former A's first-round pick who was dealt to the Chicago Cubs in the Addison Russell/Jeff Samardzija trade in 2014, had two hits for the Blue Jays, who were coming off a 3-1 series win at Minnesota.
Semien and Chapman had two hits apiece for the A's, who opened an eight-game homestand with a 1-1 split with the Houston Astros earlier in the week.
The Blue Jays outhit the A's 7-6.
--Field Level Media
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