Blue Jays win 10th straight, move into 1st
TORONTO -- Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak each hit a three-run homer and the Blue Jays used a seven-run second inning to walk all over the A's in a 10-3 victory that extended their winning streak to 10 games on Wednesday night. With Toronto's victory and the Yankees' loss to Cleveland, the Blue Jays moved into first place in the American League East.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey earned the victory for Toronto after allowing three earned runs on six hits over six strong innings. The loss went to A's right-hander Aaron Brooks, who surrendered eight runs over 1 2/3 innings during his third start this year for Oakland.
"We've seen him so good, just had an off outing tonight and they have so much momentum going as a team," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They're swinging the bats well."
Josh Donaldson also had a standout night at the plate for the Blue Jays by going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. One of the only bright spots for Oakland was Danny Valencia, who hit a solo homer in the second inning off Dickey for his 10th of the year.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Seven in the second: Toronto sent 11 batters to the plate in a seven-run second inning that included Smoak's three-run shot, a two-run single by Donaldson and a pair of RBI singles by Colabello and Russell Martin. It was the 11th time this year Toronto scored at least six runs in an inning, which leads the Major Leagues. The Blue Jays have hit multiple home runs in 14 of their 24 games since the All-Star break.
"I picked a good night to be real pedestrian," Dickey joked after the game. More >
Toronto blues: Brooks relived the same nightmare he endured at Rogers Centre in his first career start last year, when he allowed seven runs without making it out of the first inning as a member of the Royals. This time, despite having pitched to a 1.26 ERA in his first two starts with the A's, he was tagged for eight runs in 1 2/3 innings, bringing his career ERA in Toronto to 57.86.
"It's just getting back to where I was before tonight," Brooks said. "In the two starts before this, everything was down, offspeed pitches were for strikes. So just getting back to that and focusing on keeping the ball down." More >
Crushing Colabello: Colabello gave the Blue Jays an early spark with a three-run shot to left field in the bottom of the first. According to Statcast™, Colabello's 11th of the year was projected to travel 423 feet and it left his bat at 109 mph. He later added a run-scoring single in the second to match his career high with four RBIs. The strong night at the plate came 24 hours after a 3-for-4 performance in the series opener that included a pair of doubles.
"The last two, three days I feel like I've been going really slow," Colabello said. "My mind has been really slow, my breathing has been good in the box and fortunately just going out there trying to contribute, trying to do whatever I can to help the team."
Super Sam: Left fielder Sam Fuld produced a pair of web gems, acting as a bright spot on an otherwise forgettable night. Fuld threw out Troy Tulowitzki in the second inning -- which registered at 89.1 mph, per Statcast™ -- and robbed Kevin Pillar of a hit in the fifth with a spectacular diving catch. More >
"You can't put the cart before the horse. We want people to get excited about it, we want fans to get excited about it. We want people to really enjoy what's happening because it is a long time coming for this city and this team and this country. But we can't afford to do that. We have to keep things in perspective. We still understand we have 10 more games against the Yankees, we've got games against the Orioles … we're not going to be under the radar against anybody any longer." -- Dickey, on the Blue Jays taking sole possession of first place in the AL East
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays' lineup has been breaking records all season, but Wednesday night was the first time since 2008 that the club scored at least 10 runs before the end of the second inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time that happened was June 24, 2008 vs. Cincinnati (14-1).
Toronto starters have gone 16 consecutive games allowing three earned runs or less. It's the longest streak in Blue Jays history since May 5-25, 1991 (18 games, club record).
A's: Right-hander Sonny Gray will take his American League-leading 2.06 ERA into Thursday's series finale against the streaking Blue Jays at Rogers Centre at 9:37 a.m. PT. Gray has tossed two complete games in his last three starts and three in his last six outings (1.72 ERA). He's 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.
Blue Jays: Left-hander Mark Buehrle will take the mound on Thursday afternoon at 12:37 p.m. ET as Toronto attempts to match its season high with an 11-game winning streak. Buehrle will be making this start on two extra days' rest after he swapped outings with Dickey. The move was made to give a little more time for Buehrle to recover after his last outing.
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