TORONTO -- Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales went back-to-back in the bottom of the ninth against Oakland closer Santiago Casilla on Wednesday, giving the Blue Jays a dramatic 3-2 walk-off win over the Athletics."I think everything is possible," Morales said after the Blue Jays' third consecutive win. "We're not that
TORONTO -- Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales went back-to-back in the bottom of the ninth against Oakland closer Santiago Casilla on Wednesday, giving the Blue Jays a dramatic 3-2 walk-off win over the Athletics.
"I think everything is possible," Morales said after the Blue Jays' third consecutive win. "We're not that far from the Wild Card position. I think we just need to put a good winning streak together, and if we keep playing well, anything can happen."
Smoak tied the game with a no-doubter, a two-run shot measured at 416 feet according to Statcast™, giving the Blue Jays new life. Morales then wasted no time, sending the very next pitch to right field to seal the win in what could have been Marco Estrada's last start for the Blue Jays as speculation builds ahead of Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Estrada scattered three hits and four walks over five innings of work with Marcus Semien's two-run home run in the fifth representing the Athletics' only offense.
Estrada's fastball and trademark changeup were in sync for much of his start, though, forcing the off-balance swings and weak contact through the air that have embodied his approach when he's been at his best in the past.
"I still don't like the way I'm throwing the ball," Estrada said. "It's not me. I don't walk people. That's the only thing I'm upset about is walks. The home run, it is what it is. That's what happens when you fall behind."
Athletics starter Paul Blackburn was a model of efficiency for the A's in just his fifth Major League start. The 23-year-old limited the Blue Jays to just two hits over seven shutout innings, inducing 12 groundball outs with three walks and three strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 2.25.
"We really wanted to get him a win," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's too bad, because he pitched great against a good lineup. Keeps the ball on the ground, couldn't ask much more than that."
Casilla, who didn't record an out, was charged with his sixth blown save in the loss, the second in his last four appearances.
"I was trying to locate all my pitches," Casilla said through an interpreter. "I felt great in the bullpen, and then when I got in the game my mechanics were not right and I was getting a little ahead of myself. I feel bad. You always feel bad about a game like that. And I feel really bad because I feel great physically, and today it just didn't work out."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Offense awakes in the fifth:Matt Joyce worked a two-out walk to extend the fifth inning, which set the stage for Semien's two-run home run that broke the scoreless tie. Semien turned on an 89.2-mph fastball from Estrada and sent a 362-foot shot high over the left-field wall for his third of the season.
Smoak brings Toronto to life: Smoak jolted the Blue Jays' offense with a no-doubter to right field after a Josh Donaldson walk to lead off the inning. Toronto's offense had put up just three hits prior to the blast from Smoak, who now leads the Blue Jays with 28 home runs and 67 RBIs.
"I don't think about it. If it happens, it happens." -- Estrada, on the Trade Deadline rumors
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was just the second time in franchise history that the Blue Jays have walked off a game with back-to-back home runs. The only other time was in 1986, with home runs from Cliff Johnson and Buck Martinez.
Athletics: Lefty Sean Manaea (8-5, 3.82) will look to get back on track Thursday in a start against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, with first pitch scheduled for 9:37 a.m. PT. Manaea allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Mets on Saturday, after pitching to a 2.92 ERA in his previous 11 starts dating to May 20.
Blue Jays:Marcus Stroman (9-5, 2.98 ERA) will close out the series for the Blue Jays at 12:37 p.m. ET on Thursday. The right-hander pitched 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball his last time out, working through a developing blister that he insisted will not be an issue going forward.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.