Blue Jays win again on a walk off home run 8-4, sweep the A’s

July 27, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Toronto Blue Jays’ Steve Pearce tosses his bat in celebration after hitting the game-winning walk off grand slam to defeat the Oakland Athletics 8-4 in the 10th inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Thursday July 27, 2017. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP)

by Jerry Feitelberg

Toronto- The Toronto Blue Jays completed the four-game sweep of the A’s on a walk off grand slam by Steve Pearce to win the game in the bottom of the tenth 8-4. It was the first time in Toronto’s franchise history to win two consecutive games on walk off homers.

The A’s Sean Manaea continued to pitch well. Manaea went seven plus innings and allowed three runs and seven hits. Manaea struck out seven but did not walk a single batter. He, however, allowed two solo homers, one to Josh Donaldson and one to Kendrys Morales. The Blue Jays’ starter, Marcus Stroman, was ejected in the top of the fifth inning by home plate umpire Will Little for questioning his calls of balls and strikes. More about the incident a little later in the report.

The A’s scored three times in the top of the first inning. Stroman walked leadoff hitter Matt Joyce to start the game.  Stroman appeared to not be happy with Little’s calls and was seen shaking his head several times in the inning.Marcus Semien followed with a single to put men on at first and second with no out. Stroman struck out Yonder Alonso for the first out, Stroman then walked Khris Davis to load the bases. Ryon Healy hit a slow roller to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo’s only play was at first, and Joyce crossed the plate with the A’s first run of the game. A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell singled to drive in Semien and Davis.  In the bottom of the first, Jays’ catcher Russell Martin was called out looking and he, too, had a few words with Little. With two out, Former A’s third baseman, Josh Donaldson, blasted his tenth dinger of the year to make it 3-1 after one inning of action.

In the top of the fifth, the displeasure with Will Little came to boil. Jay’s manager John Gibbons was tossed for questioning Little’s calls on balls and strikes. Two pitches later, Little threw both Stroman and Russell Martin out of the game on the same pitch. Stroman lost his cool and had to be restrained by Jays’ coach DaMarlo Hale. The Jays brought in Chris Smith to pitch. In the bottom of the fifth, the Jays’ DH Kendrys Morales hit the first pitch from Manaea into the seats in center field. The A’s still lead 3-2 but not for long as the Jays tied the game in the bottom of the sixth.  Jose Bautista led off with a double. Justin Smoak singled to drive in Bautista with the tying run.

The A’s regained the lead in the top of the eighth. The Toronto bullpen, which had handcuffed the A’s for three straight games, finally faltered.  With Ryan Tepera on the hill, Jaycob Brugman singled with one out. Brugman went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Marcus Semien single. The A’s needed their bullpen to come through and shut down the Jays in the eighth and ninth. The A’s behind Ryan Dull and Blake Treinen made it through the eighth unscathed. The ninth inning was a different story.

In the ninth, that man, Kendrys Morales, continued his onslaught on A’s pitching. He homered off Treinen o tie the game. Morales hit his 19th and 290th homers of the year Thursday, and he hit the walk off homer Wednesday night to beat Oakland.

In the fateful tenth, the A’s called on Liam Hendriks to pitch. Hendriks had, and this is being charitable, a bad day. He did record two outs, but he walked three hitters to load the bases. The Jays’ Steve Pearce worked the count to 3-2. With two outs and the runners on the move, Pearce made sure that the ball would not be caught as he took Hendriks deep to end the game on a walk off grand slam. The Jays win 8-4 and sweep the A’s.

Game notes- The A’s lost for the twelfth time in their last thirteen tries in Toronto. The Jays hit four home runs Thursday, two off the bat of Morales. The A’s did score four runs in the game, but they need to do better. The team batting average is just .235 which is the lowest in all of baseball. The A’s did not make an error, but they also lead the Majors with 85 errors and have allowed 60 unearned runs. The A’s are now fourteen games under the .500 mark with a record of 44-58.

The A’s announced that they designated for assignment veteran reliever John Axford. Axford had control problems all season long and was very inconsistent. Ryan Dull took his spot on the roster. The A’s also recalled catcher Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Nashville to fill in for Josh Phegley who went on the 10-day DL.

The A’s return home to face the Minnesota Twins Friday night at the Coliseum at 7:05 pm. Daniel Gossett, with a record of 2-5, will pitch for Oakland and the Twins counter with newly acquired lefty Jaime Garcia.Garcia is 4-7, and his ERA is 4.30.



About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger


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