TORONTO -- A four-run third inning that featured Ezequiel Carrera's first homer of the season fueled the Blue Jays, who also got a two-run blast from Jose Bautista, to a 6-3 victory over the A's for a series win on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.Carrera finished with two hits and
TORONTO -- A four-run third inning that featured Ezequiel Carrera's first homer of the season fueled the Blue Jays, who also got a two-run blast from Jose Bautista, to a 6-3 victory over the A's for a series win on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
Carrera finished with two hits and a walk to cap a three-game series in which he totaled seven hits from the top of the order, aiding a strong performance from right-hander Drew Hutchison, who delivered 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in a spot start for Toronto.
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"I felt I was a little off to be honest with you," Hutchison said. "I wasn't real sharp, but I made some big pitches when I needed to, and that's really what it's about."
The A's managed just four hits off Hutchison, two of them home runs. Khris Davis notched his second of the season to lead off the second inning, and Josh Reddick collected his fourth with a one-out shot in the sixth. Chris Coghlan also hit his fourth, launching a solo homer to right field off former A's pitcher Jesse Chavez in the seventh.
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Oakland lefty Eric Surkamp drew the loss, yielding six runs (all earned) on nine hits and four walks with three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings, increasing his ERA to 5.59.
"I actually felt like today I was more on the glove than I had been my first couple starts, but I just got my [butt] kicked, pretty much all there is to it," Surkamp said. "They're a good lineup. You make mistakes, and they're going to make you pay for it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Getting Zeke-y with it: For a second straight afternoon, Carrera led the Blue Jays' offensive attack. After a 4-for-5 performance on Saturday, Carrera hit his first home run of the season and sixth of his career to lead off the bottom of the third inning, sparking a four-run inning for Toronto. The 28-year-old also added a single and a stolen base on the afternoon, filling in for the injured Michael Saunders.
Two-out troubles: Surkamp nearly wiggled his way out of the third inning with only one run allowed, getting a pair of ground-ball outs from the three-four lineup combo of Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, following a double off the bat of Josh Donaldson. However, after issuing an intentional walk to Troy Tulowitzki, he offered up three consecutive two-out RBI singles to Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar and Darwin Barney.
"The guys you're really concentrating on are the guys two through six, and it was a lot of other guys that got us this series as well, whether it was the bottom of the lineup with Smoak and Pillar, and then Carrera had a good series," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They have a lot of good players over there."
Jolt from Joey: After 11 consecutive hitless at-bats, Bautista put the exclamation point on the Blue Jays' six-run afternoon in the bottom of the fourth. Bautista deposited a 1-0 pitch from Surkamp over the left-centre-field wall to chauffeur home Donaldson and give Toronto a 6-1 lead. The homer was Bautista's fourth of the season, and traveled a projected 397 feet according to Statcast™.
All or nothing: The A's showed off their power on three occasions, but they were unable to produce much of anything besides the long ball, totaling only two hits that weren't home runs, both of which were recorded in the first two innings against Hutchison.
"He was good, changed speeds," catcher Stephen Vogt said. "He threw me some nasty changeups, I can tell you that. He kept the ball down. He didn't get up in the zone but maybe a couple of times. Threw some good breaking balls, his fastball had some pretty good life, and his changeup was very, very, very good."
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"The guy deserves everything that's coming his way. He really leads this team by example in his work ethic and when he goes we all want to go. You can't get complacent when there's one of the best players in the game who is getting himself ready to play every single day. It just spreads, and our team really feeds off of that." -- Barney, on fans lining up hours early to receive a Donaldson bobblehead
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Right-handed hitters missed on 8 of 15 swings against Hutchison on Sunday.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons won his challenge in the top of the second inning on a disputed stolen-base attempt. With two outs and Tyler Ladendorf batting, Yonder Alonso took off for second base and was initially called safe on the play. The call was overturned after replays showed that Alonso had come off the bag and was tagged by Barney.
A's: The A's will cross the border and head to Detroit for a four-game set that begins Monday. Right-hander Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.04 ERA) will be on the mound in the series opener, scheduled for 4:07 p.m. PT. Graveman has limited opponents to four hits or fewer in each of his first three starts.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman gets the call when the Blue Jays open a three-game series against the White Sox on Monday at 7:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre. Stroman went seven innings and surrendered three runs in his last outing, a 4-3 victory against the Orioles.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.
*Alykhan Ravjiani * is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.