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Mengden blanks Blue Jays as A's finish sweep

Special to MLB.com

TORONTO -- Everything went the A's way on Sunday afternoon in Toronto, as they completed a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre with a 9-2 win.

Oakland has now won six of its last seven games and has gotten it done with all facets of its team game. Over their four games in Toronto, the A's scored a total of 27 runs on 44 hits.

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TORONTO -- Everything went the A's way on Sunday afternoon in Toronto, as they completed a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre with a 9-2 win.

Oakland has now won six of its last seven games and has gotten it done with all facets of its team game. Over their four games in Toronto, the A's scored a total of 27 runs on 44 hits.

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"Great trip," said manager Bob Melvin. "We were really competitive in New York -- to lose a tough one and win two out of three [in Boston], then four in a row here [is great]."

The A's offense stole the show with another outburst, but Daniel Mengden turned in his best start of the season with seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out a pair.

Mengden buckled down in big moments, too, while the game was still close. With runners on second and third and one out in the third inning, Mengden battled with Curtis Granderson and eventually struck him out. He then forced Josh Donaldson to ground out to end the inning and escape the threat.

Video: OAK@TOR: Mengden gets Granderson swinging in the 3rd

"Me and [Jonathan] Lucroy had a pretty good plan going in," Mengden said. "We went right after it the first couple times through and then started pitching backwards. We just tried to pitch unpredictable as much as we could, and the defense was extraordinary behind us."

Video: OAK@TOR: Chapman makes slick play at third in the 3rd

Getting seven innings out of Mengden was particularly important for the A's, after the heavy lifting their bullpen had been forced to do over the weekend following injuries to starters Andrew Triggs and Brett Anderson. With an off-day on Monday, the A's can return home with a relatively fresh group of relievers for a three-game series against the Mariners.

The only blemish on the day for the A's came in the fourth inning, when they lost star DH Khris Davis to a strained right groin. He appeared to injure himself on a check swing prior to grounding into a double play and was pinch-hit for in his next at-bat.

Video: OAK@TOR: Davis exits game with leg injury in the 4th

"He didn't feel a pop, which is encouraging," Melvin said. "But typically those things aren't one or two days."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Semien breaks it open: Marcus Semien delivered the big blow in the fifth inning with his fifth home run of the season. The 428-foot shot into the center-field bleachers left Semien's bat at 102.3 mph, according to Statcast™, and gave the A's a commanding 5-0 lead.

"He's doing great, defensively too," Melvin said. "We know he's got the ability to be an offensive guy."

Video: OAK@TOR: Semien crushes a 2-run home run to center

Chapman's hustle sets the tone: Some heads-up baserunning from Matt Chapman helped put the A's on the board in the top of the second. Chapman blooped a base hit to the outfield that looked like a single, but he hustled out of the box and raced to second while the ball bounced high off the turf. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Chapman scored on an error when Donaldson whiffed on a Stephen Piscotty grounder.

"That's why people call him a five-tool player," Melvin said.

Video: OAK@TOR: Chapman scores on Donaldson's error in 2nd

A'S CLAIM CARLOS RAMIREZ
As if the four-game sweep wasn't enough, the A's also took a reliever from the Blue Jays on their way out the door. Oakland claimed right-hander Carlos Ramirez, 27, off waivers from the Blue Jays, who designated him for assignment one week ago.

Ramirez made two appearances with the Blue Jays this season and seven in Triple-A, but was one of the organization's more dominant arms in 2017. He didn't allow an earned run over 37 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, and held a 2.70 ERA over 16 2/3 innings with Toronto in his Major League debut.

HE SAID IT
"This has been a house of horrors for us the last three years. To be able to come in here and win four, for the guys who have been here, and there aren't too many of them, but it feels good." -- Melvin

UP NEXT
Trevor Cahill will open the A's series against the Mariners on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. PT when they return home to Oakland Coliseum. Cahill holds a 2.79 ERA over five starts in 2018 and struck out 12 Orioles on May 5, but recorded just one strikeout in his last start against the Red Sox. The Mariners will counter with Mike Leake, who owns a 6.00 ERA but a 4-3 record thanks to some generous run support.

Keegan Matheson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto.

Oakland Athletics, Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, Daniel Mengden, Marcus Semien