That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Raiders take advantage of Jackson’s fumble; How 49ers held off Lions; plus baseball news

Baltimore Ravens quarterback LeMar Jackson (8) was stunned how things fell apart against the Las Vegas Raiders late on Monday Night Football at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Mon Sep 13, 2021 (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 Las Vegas Raiders struggled against Baltimore Ravens all Monday Night Football but came out a winner in the end with a 33-27 victory. The Raiders Derek Carr threw for an amazing 435 yards and two touchdowns for the opening night win.

#2 The San Francisco 49ers on Sunday had control of their game against the Detroit Lions 31-10 at the half but the Lions attempted a come back in the second half scoring six points in the third quarter and another 13 in the fourth quarter and almost caught the 49ers as San Francisco gets by with a 41-33 win to open the season.

#3 Once again the Oakland A’s ran into a Texas Rangers club that gave them fits. The A’s who lost two out of three from the Rangers over the weekend are now three games back for a shot at the wild card. The loss on Sunday even tougher for Oakland losing to the Rangers 4-3.

#4 The San Francisco Giants would up clinching for a playoff birth the wild card at the very least but looks like they working to try and win the division a tight race in the NL West between the Giants who have just a 2.5 game lead either way Giants have played some exciting ball lately when they were in Chicago and Monday night against the San Diego Padres.

#5 Amaury, The Toronto Blue Jays maybe eight games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East but the Jays are the hottest team in baseball winning eight of their last ten games and hold a half game lead in the AL Wild Card over the Boston Red Sox. As the A’s know from their trip to Toronto the Blue Jays offense poured it on and the A’s like other clubs know how difficult it is to play a team like the Blue Jays.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s play by play lead announcer on the A’s Spanish flagship station 1010 KIQI Le Grande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s prepare for White Sox tonight battle to stay in the hunt; Dave Stewart, Black investors looking to buy half of Coliseum

Oakland A’s pitcher James Kaprielian gets the start against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night at the Oakland Ring Central Coliseum to open a three game series (file photo San Francisco Chronicle)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Two Black groups have thrown their hats in the ring in bid to buy the other half of the Oakland Coliseum complex the Oakland A’s have bought the other half. Dave Stewart who is leading one group with MLB player agent Lonnie Murray and the other group African American Sports are bidding for the Coliseum property to develop for Sports Entertainment and promoting community projects for East Oakland a neighborhood whose long suffered economically. Stewart said he would like to see that part of the development of the Coliseum help out East Oakland residents.

#2 The Oakland A’s (74-63) are coming off a rough three game road trip against the Toronto Blue Jays (73-62) over last weekend getting swept and the pitching was shelled giving up a total of 21 runs.

#3 The A’s bullpen struggled to keep the Blue Jays off the bases and from hitting home runs. The Jays lead all of the Majors in home runs with 210 and the A’s who were a second place now a third place team in the AL West just couldn’t do anything all series long and didn’t even come close to catching the Blue Jays.

#4 In other A’s news A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt is progressing “the way you would want it to” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. Bassitt recovering cheek surgery has not thrown a baseball yet but Bassitt’s spirits are high he’s excited about getting back in the rotation and that’s pretty good considering what happened to Bassitt.

#5 Oakland A’s traveling secretary Mickey Morabito and the A’s had a customs and immigration snafu when told they could not go through the usual procedure of going through customs at Pearson Airport in Toronto because of reduced services and that they would have to go though customs in Columbus. Morabito wanted to go through customs in Oakland but the carrier was not able to secure ground handling services. Amaury you’ve traveled quite a bit for the professional sports this had to be a very unusual experience for Morabito and the A’s.

#6 The Chicago White Sox open a three game series against the Oakland A’s Tuesday night. The White Sox have not announced a starter and the A’s are going with James Kaprielian (7-4 ERA 3.87) a 6:40 pm first pitch at the Oakland Coliseum.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s on flagship station 1010 KIQI Le Grande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at

Preview: A’s host Tony Russa and White Sox Tuesday; A’s need all the wins they can get to stay in race

Former Oakland A’s manager Tony LaRussa returns to the Oakland Coliseum on Tue Sep 7, 2021 to face his former team for the first of a three game series (file photo from Redbird Rants)

By Jerry Feitelberg

Well, here we are. The Oakland A’s (74-63) meet the Chicago White Sox (79-58) for three games starting Tuesday night. The A’s returned home after finishing a road trip with a 2-4 record. Things did not go well for the Green and Gold on the trip. Yes, the A’s hitting was much better.

They took two out of three from Detroit. That was the good news. The Tigers hit nine home runs in the series, and they scored 17 runs. The A’s went to Toronto for a three game series against the Blue Jays. They scored 18 runs in the series and lost all three games. The A’s starters and bullpen were pounded by the relentless Blue Jay offensive juggernaut. The A’s lost by scores of 11-10, 10-8, and 8-0. A’s manager, Bob Melvin, must be wondering what happened to his pitchers.

The A’s chances of making the playoffs are getting slimmer by the day. They remain five and 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros. The Seattle Mariners have slipped past the A’s into second place in the AL West. The A’s are now four games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot.

The Mariners trail Boston by three games. The schedule does not look favorable for Oakland as they head down the homestretch. The A’s play the Chicago White Sox for three games starting Tuesday night. The White Sox won three of the four games played in Chicago.

The White Sox will be in the playoffs as they will be the AL Central division champs. After the White Sox leave, the A’s face the pesky Texas Rangers. The Rangers own the worst record in the AL West. The A’s are 9-7 against them. The Rangers have not rolled over for Oakland. The A’s go on the road to play the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels before the final 13 games of the year.

If the A’s will make the playoffs, the schedule has allowed them to go after the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. The A’s have seven left with Seattle and six with Houston. It won’t be easy. The Mariners are playing well and have improved in the second half of the season.

The Astros are 9-4 against Oakland and have had their way against the Green and Gold all season long. To this observer, it is highly doubtful the A’s will catch either team. The A’s have not played well since the All-Star break. They had a stretch when their hitting was suspect.

The front office helped by acquiring Starling Marte, Yan Gomes, and Josh Harrison. Matt Chapman’s power returned, and he is doing better. The injury to the A’s ace, Chris Bassitt, puy a monkey wrench in the A’s rotation. Frankie Montas is pitching well in the second half of the year. The same cannot be said for Sean Manaea, Cole Irvin, James Kaprielian, and Paul Blackburn.

So, the A’s have twenty-five games to right the ship. They face the powerful Chicago White Sox. Their lineup includes Tim Anderson, MVP Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert. A very tough lineup. The A’s will face lefty Dallas Keuchel on Wednesday and Reynaldo Lopez on Thursday.

The Sox have not announced their starter for the Tuesday opener. The A’s pitchers will be Kaprielian on Tuesday, Montas on Wednesday, and Manaea on Thursday. The A’s hope that the bullpen gets back on track after the shellacking they took on the road trip. Oakland needs to get hot. Let’s hope they can do it.

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: A’s need this homestand to get back in the post season race

Oakland A’s pitcher James Kaprielian will start Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox who have not announced a starter yet (file photo from Athletics Nation)

On the A’s podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara, the A’s have just concluded three games with Toronto and before that three games in Detroit. The A’s are still chasing the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild Card trailing by four games and in the AL West they trail the Houston Astros by 4.5 games lots of work ahead of Oakland to try and get back in post season contention.

#2 Barbara, things don’t get easier the A’s take on the first place Chicago White Sox who are hot right now winning seven of their last ten games they’ll face the Sox on Tuesday night at the Coliseum for three games.

#3 Barbara, during the Blue Jays series the A’s bullpen struggled on Friday’s game starter Sean Manaea surrendered two runs and the three relievers Lou Trivino, Yusmerio Petit, and closer Sergio Romo were all rocked for a combined nine runs.

#4 On Saturday the A’s pitching staff gave up ten runs starter Paul Blackburn gave up nine hits and four runs, relievers Daulton Jefferies, Jake Diekman, Lou Trivino, and Burch Smith were tagged for a combined six hits and six runs. Manager Bob Melvin has to be concerned with the pitching staff when trying to make post season and they got swept 8-0 on Sunday by the Blue Jays.

#5 The A’s host ex-manager Tony LaRussa and the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night at the Ring Central Time Oakland Coliseum the White Sox have not announced a starter yet and the A’s will go with James Kaprielian (7-4 ERA 3.97) a 6:40pm first pitch PDT.

Barbara does the A’s podcasts each Monday at

Oakland drops second straight game to Toronto 10-8

The Toronto Blue Jays Breyvic Valera prepares to round the bases after sitting on a pitch that he hit for his first home run of the season against the Oakland A’s at Rogers Centre in Toronto (Canadian Press News photo)

Oakland Drops Second Straight Game To Toronto 10-8

By Barbara Mason

After the devastating loss on Friday night to the Blue Jays, the Oakland A’s need to get back on track starting with Saturday’s game. The Oakland offense could not have been any better. They were right on point and coupled with a great showing by pitcher Sean Manea this game should have been one more in the win column.

The offense was brilliant the entire game with the exception of some very poor relief pitching. It is hard to reckon how a team leads 8-2 going into the eighth inning and loses. Lou Trivino gave up a grand slam in the eighth and Sergio Romo allowed three runs in the ninth with the A’s leading 10-8 at the time. It was a walk-off for former A Marcus Semien 11-10 the final.

Paul Blackburn started for the A’s and Jose Berrios was on the mound for Toronto in Game Two Saturday.

The Blue Jays had home runs in the second, third and fourth innings leading by the score of 4-0 in a great start for Toronto. Gurriel J. led off the barrage of long balls followed by Jansen and Valera.

In the fifth inning Matt Chapman hit a solo home run getting Oakland on the board fo the first time in the game. In the seventh inning Oakland showed some signs of turning this game around with a single from Mark Canha and another by Chad Pinder. The A’s were within a run of the Blue Jays 4-3.

Toronto knocked another home run out of the park in the seventh inning with two on base and the lead was now 7-3 making things awfully tough for the A’s. Hernandez hit the fourth home run of the day for the Blue Jays.

Toronto scored three runs in the eighth inning for a 10-3 lead. Oakland made a valiant effort in the ninth inning scoring five times but it was too little too late. Chapman and Murphy both had home runs in that inning with runners on base. The final score was 10-8 in favor of the Blue Jays who have now won the series.

In this series Oakland had the opportunity to close the door on Toronto but they just could not get it done. Again the loss lies squarely on the shoulders of the starter and the bullpen.

Game three of this series will be Sunday morning with first pitch at 10:07 AM PDT. The A’s will head home and be off tomorrow on Monday. They will be back on the field Tuesday to face another major challenge against the AL Central leading White Sox.

Former A’s Semien Beats Oakland 11-10

The Toronto Blue Jays Marcus Semien gets the water treatment from teammates after hitting a three run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand the Jays a win over the Oakland A’s at Rogers Centre in Toronto (AP News photo)

Former A’s Semien Beats Oakland 11-10

By Barbara Mason

Friday evening the Oakland A’s took on the Toronto Blue Jays in a race for the Wild Card. Both teams are in the running and so this game was equally important for both of them.

Sean Manea was on the mound for the A’s and Alek Manoah got the nod for the Blue Jays. Both of the teams were desperate for wins to keep pace in this race to October.

The A’s got right down to business in the first inning. Josh Harrison and Starling Marte both had hits. Matt Chapman doubled in the inning driving in Harrison and Marte giving the A’s an early 2-0 lead.

Things were quiet in the ensuring innings until the fourth inning. The Blue Jays would tie up the game off a home run by Teoscar Hernandez allowing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to score. The A’s would have to get to work to take back the lead.

There were some fireworks and not the kind that produce hits and runs in the fifth inning. To be correct there were plenty of hits but not off the bat. Josh Harrison was hit and following that Starling Marte was hit in the head. So back to back hits and not the kind that we like to see. Marte would stay in the game for the inning. When Olson doubled Harrison and the speedy Marte both scored to take a 4-2 lead.

In the sixth inning Tony Kemp would have a bit of a dirt in the eye issue that brought out the medical crew. He went on to hit a home run, the eye wash doing it’s job scoring Canha and extending their lead 6-2.

There would be more scoring for Oakland in the seventh inning. Matt Chapman would single driving Matt Olson home. Tony Kemp would single in the same inning driving home Jed Lowrie. Now leading 8-2 the A’s had control of this game.

As we have seen in the A’s last two games, you cannot let your foot off the pedal. Going into the eighth inning Sean Manea had seen seven great innings.

Manea should have pitched the eighth inning. Lou Trivino came in to relieve and walked three, and walked in a run to top it off. Gurriel Jr. would come to the plate with the bases loaded and hit the home run that would tie this game 8-8. It was more of the same for the A’s. They have done this the past few games. They have a healthy lead and the relief pitching has let the team down. It would be up to the offense of Oakland to dig them out of this mess.

It was Mark Canha to the rescue hitting a desperately needed home run driving in Matt Olson and taking back the lead 10-8.

That lead did not last very long. Again the Oakland pitching undid everything that the offense worked so hard to achieve. Sergio Romo continued to throw sliders over and over and it was not working. He allowed hits by Valera and Springer followed by a home run by Marcus Semien and that was the ball game 11-10.

I don’t know what you do about some of this horrific relief pitching and the closers. There will be no post season for this team if this goes on much longer. They wouldn’t get past the Wild Card if they even get that far. What a let down after such a great offensive effort, especially the brilliant pitching by Sean Manea.

They will take another shot tomorrow taking on the Jays in Game Two. First pitch is at 12:07.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: A’s get run production in Detroit; Manaea to start for A’s tonight in Toronto

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Manaea will start for the A’s against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto to open a three game series Fri Sep 3, 2021 ( file photo)

On the Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 Jeremiah, after the Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera hit home run 502 on Wednesday night the Tigers sat Cabrera and the A’s took advantage getting right to work on the Bengals with a quick 8-0 lead after four innings Tigers starter Matt Manning was charged for all eight runs.

#2 The A’s grabbed four quick runs in the top of the first inning after Jed Lowrie launched a 411 foot homer into left center for a 3-0 lead. The A’s Mark Canha followed up with a 370 foot solo home run homer into the right field stands for a 4-0 lead.

#3 In the second inning Starling Marte slugged an RBI double to get the A’s up 5-0. Marte now has 117 hits and 41 RBIs.

#4 A’s starter Frankie Montas was pitching in the bottom of the seventh inning when he was lifted for reliever Deolis Guerra. Montas had given up only one run until he gave up a home run to Harold Castro and Akil Baddoo hit a two run homer for 353 feet. Guerra watched the bottom fall out for a five run seventh and was relieved by Andrew Chafin.

#5 The A’s are Toronto tonight to open a three game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre for the A’s Sean Manaea (8-9 ERA 3.97) the Jays have not announced a starter yet a 4:07pm first pitch PDT.

Jeremiah does the A’s podcasts each Friday at

Semien haunts old club with 4 hits and 3 runs scored; Jays clobber A’s 10-4

The Toronto Blue Jays Marucs Semien had himself an afternoon against his former teammates the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum on Thu May 6, 2021 (@Blue Jays photo)

Toronto 10 – 16 – 1

Oakland 4 – 6. – 2

By Lewis Rubman

May 6, 2021

OAKLAND–This pitching match up of this afternoon’s contest between the 15-14 Toronto Blue Jays and 19-13 Athletics pitted two veteran starting pitchers recently returned from the Injured List. Going for the visitors was Hyun Jin Ryu, reinstated just yesterday (?), who had compiled an impressive April earned run average of 2.60 in his 27-2/3 innings of work over five starts.

Never mind that his won-lost record was 1-2; his WHIP was a measly 1.06. His resumé includes seven years of stardom with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Association, where he won 59 regular season games. That doesn’t seem so impressive until you realize that only Chan Ho Park, who won 124, had more games in his W column. Ryu, like Park, went on to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers Ryu seems to have a case of the seven year itch, since that’s the amount of time he stayed with the Dodgers (if you count 2015, a season he missed due to injury).

He signed with Toronto in December of 2019, in time to turn in a 5-2, 2.60 COVID shortened season mark. He finished third in the Cy Young balloting and had the third highest WAR of all players in the majors. Among pitchers, only Shane Bieber, at 3.2, did better.

This was only the second appearance of the season for the A’s Mike Fiers since coming off the Injured List on April 26., He was adequate in his first start, a week ago yesterday, giving up three runs and six hits over six innings in a losing effort against Baltimore’s Jim Means,who went on to throw a no-hitter a couple of days ago.

Fiers has tossed two of those himself, most recently on May 2, 2019 against Cincinnati. There was no question of Fiers throwing a no-hitter today; Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette opened the game with back to back singles. But Fiers recovered and retilred Vladmir Guerrero, Jr., Teoscar Hernández, and Randal Grichuk, the last on a three pitch strike out.

The Athletics started off with a bigger bang than Toronto’s. Mark Canha launched Ryu’s second offering, an 88 mph four seamer, into the left field seats for his fifth home run of the year and first lead off four bager of his career. Then Ryu set down Ramón Laueano, Matt Olson, and Sean Murphy in order.

Fiers got two quick strikes on Semien, leading off the third. But the A’s alumnus worked the count full before pulling a double down the left field line, just beyond the reach of a diving Matt Chapman. Bichette followed with a 3-2 walk, bringing Junior Guerrero to the plate.

With lthe count at 2-2, Fiers struck him out swinging, and Murphy picked Bichette off at first for an unusual double play. Toronto appealled the call at first, but a video review quickly confirmed it. Fiers seemed to have escaped the worst, but he hadn’t. Hernández walked, and Grichuk whalloped a blast that left his bat at 110 mph and landed 412 feet away, in center field, putting the Jays up, 3-1.

Oakland got a run back in the third on a one out single to right center by Tony Kemp, who advanced to second on Canha’s ground out to short, followed by a walk to Laureano and Olson’s automatic double that hopped over the low right field fence on one bounce. The A’s went ahead when the next batter, Sean Murphy, lined a double to left that brought both of them home. When Chapman struck looking to end the inning, the green and gold was back on top, 4-3.

That didn’t last long Jonathan Davis singled to open the fourth. Then Danny Jensen, htting all of .072 blasted an authorative home run to left. A fly out and an infield single leater, Fiers was gone, and Deolis Guerra was pitching for the home team. The A’s bullpen, tested and found wanting last night, was called on once more. Bichette stole second and third on Guerra, and Hernández, whom he walked, stole second, but the A’s reliever got through the frame without allowing another run.

Fiers’ line for the afternoon was five runs, all earned, one nine hits and two walks. He struck out two, and 43 of his 69 pitches were strikes. He allowed two home runs. Oh, those warm dry afternoons in the Coliseum! He eventually was charged with the loss.

There was a glimmer of hope for the A’s with two out in the bottom of the fifth. Laureano fisted a line drive single to right that got past Hernández, allowing Oakland’s fleet footed center fielder to motor to thirid. But Olson went down swinging on a change up to end the mini threat.

Things got hairy for Guerra in the sixth. With one down, Semien’s fly ball landed in front of Piscotty in right. Bichette followed with a line drive single to left that eluded Andrus’s glove. Junior Guerrero hit sharply to the mound. Guerra fielded the ball, turned, and threw low and outside to second.

The error loaded the bases. It also ended Guerra’s agony. Romo came in. Hernández’s single to center scored Bichette and Semien. Guerrero stopped at second. Grichuk then hit a double to deep right center that Laureano mishandled and which brought Guerrero home with Grichuk ending up at third when Kemp threw wildely on his relay to that base.

Guerra gave up three runs, two of them earned, in two innings of hard labor. He allowed two htis and a walk, threw 32 pitches, 23 for strikes. Romo faced four batters in his 2/3 of an inning. Two of them got hits, and he was charged with one run, which was earned.

Travis Bergen relieved Ryu for the Oakland sixth. Toronto’s starter pitched five innings to qualify tor the win. The four runs he allowed were earned. He gave up six hits and a walk, strikng out six. His pitch to strikes ratio was 91-58. Bergen threw two hitless innings, allowing a walk.

Reymin Guduan pitched the seventh for Oakland and surrendered the Blue Jays their tenth run on a 386 foot homer to left by Semien, who was cheered loudly by a good portion of 3,611 fans in attendance. He stayed on until Adam Kolarek assumed the unpleasant task of facing the surging Blue Jays for the final frame. In spite of singles to the first two hitters he faced, he got out of the inning unscathed.

The forelorn A’s fruitlessy faced Joel Payamps in the eighth, and he hung around to finish the job in the ninth.

24 hours before the final out was recorded at 3:48, it looked as if the A’s might sweep this four game series against the Jays. They ended up with a split.

The Jekyll and Hyde A’s take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a three game series starting at 6:40 tomorrow evening. Sean Manaea (3-1,3.48) is scheduled to face Rich Hill.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: A’s hoping to take series/ Jays hoping for a split today

Oakland A’s starter Mike Fiers who took a loss in this last start will try for his first win of the season today at the Oakland Coliseum against the Toronto Blue Jays as the four game series concludes this afternoon. (Athletics Nation photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 Oakland A’s pitcher Lou Trivino who pitched one third in relief on Wednesday night got tattooed by the Toronto Blue Jays at the Oakland Coliseum giving up three runs and five hits in relief.

#2 The relief core surrendered five runs in the top of the eighth inning to the Jays and the A’s wound up losing by as many runs 9-4.

#3 Reliever Adam Kolarek came in to relieve Trivino and threw a wild pitch to move runners to second and third and was lifted for Jordan Weems who wound up giving up a hit and two runs for the five run eighth and the damage was done for a 7-4 lead.

#4 The Jays added two more runs in the ninth inning for a nine run evening tally. The key thing for A’s victories has been the bullpen to hold them for wins but on Wednesday night the pen struggle to keep runners off the bases.

#5 The Jays and A’s conclude this four game series at 12:37pm this afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. Starting pitchers for this afternoon for the Blue Jays Hyun Jin Ryu (1-2 ERA 2.60) and for the A’s Mike Fiers (0-1 ERA 4.60) struggled in his first outing for a loss.

Join Jerry for the Oakland A’s podcasts each Thursday at

Jays turn hats inside out rally for five runs in 8th for 9-4 win over A’s

The Toronto Blue Jays Teoscar Hernandez connects for an RBI single in the first inning against Oakland A’s starter Chris Bassitt at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed May 5, 2021 (AP News photo)

Toronto 9 -10 – 0

Oakland 4 – 7 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

May 5, 2021

OAKLAND–This morning, the Blue Jays announced that on June 1 they will fly away home. The A’s opponents du jour, who have been playing their home games in their spring training facilities in Dundin, FL, will not be returning all the way to Canada but to neighboring Buffalo.

The upgrade of Salhen Field, the home park of their Triple AAA affiliate in upstate New York, is expected to have been completed by then. Ironically, the first team to visit the Jays in their northern home away from home will be the Miami Marlins. Just before game time, Toronto also announced that they had put George Springer on the IL and promoted Jonathan Davis.

The A’s also announced a move, one on a much lower scale. Aramis García, the catcher acquired along with Elvis Andrus in the Khris Davis deal, has been placed on the Injured List with viral enteritis. He was replaced by fellow backstop Austin Allen, who had been on the taxi squad and batted ninth tonight and catching.

He threw out Randal Grichuk trying to steal second in the top of the sixth, ending the inning. He ended the top of the seventh as well, this time with a nifty 2-3 put out of Joe Panik on a dribbler in front of the plate.

Seven year veteran Robbie Ray (1-1, 2.78) started for the Blue Jays. His best pitch is his fastball, which has been averaging 95 mph this season. Reasonably enough, it’s his most frequent offering, followed, in descending order, by the slider, curve, and occasional change up.

Although at game time he owned a mediocre lifetime record of 50-52, 4.22, he was tied for third place among pitchers with more than 100 innings of MLB experience for strike outs per nine innings at 11.03. Tonight was the first time he faced the A’s.

Oakland entrusted its fortunes to Chris Bassitt (2-2, 3.93). Those figures in parenthesis aren’t reassuring, but behind them are reasons to give the Athletics and their fans some confidence. Bassitt’s two loses were in his first two starts, against the Astros and Dodgers, in that order.

After his second defeat, his record stood at 0-2, 5.56 with an opponents’ batting average of .289. Between then and game time, it was 2-0, 3.13, and .221. He was 0-1, 5.25 lifetime in his meager two starts against Toronto. He pitched tonight on five days’ rest.

Toronto jumped all over him in the first inning, but the damage they inflicted on Oakland wasn’t insurmountable. That would come later.

After Marcus Semien went down swinging to open the game, Bo Bichette rapped a single to left and moved on to second when Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., sent a line drive up the middle into center for another base hit. Teoscar Hernández banged a single to right, driving Bichette across home for Toronto’s first tally. Guerrero scored their second on Randal Grichuk’s single to center. Then Bassitt settled down to get the two outs he needed to get out of the inning.

Ramón Laureano reduced the gap by blasting one of Ray’s 95 mph fast balls an estimated 395 feet, leaving the park over the State Farm sign in right center, with one out in the home first. That made it seven home runs and 15 RBI for the A’s centerfielder.

Matt Chapman, who seems well on the way to putting his hitting woes behind him, closed the gap completely in the bottom of the fourth. His 396 foot smash to left came on an 87 mph slider Ray threw on a 1-2 count . The brought his totals to five dingers and fourteen runs driven in. Not bad for a guy who’d just crawled over the Mendoza line.

The A’s pulled ahead in their half of the sixth. Laureano doubled to deep left center to lead off. He moved up 90 feet on Olson’s ground out to short into the shift and scored on DH Sean Murphy’s pop fly single to center over a drawn in infield. Jed Lowrie’s fly that Grichuk corralled at the right center wall looked like it might widen the margin, but, of course, it didn’t.

That was the last out that Ray would record. In his six innings on the mound, he threw 95 pitches, 68 for strikes. The three runs he yielded were earned and came on six hits, two of which went the distance. He didn’t walk anybody and, running true to form, struck out nine.. Jordan Romano, his replacement, amused the crowd with his habit of squatting between each pitch, but still managed to set down the bottom of the Athletics’ order in order.

Bob Melvin also called on a reliever, Lou Trivino, to open the next inning. Bassitt left after throwing 90 pitches (63 strikes) over seven innings. The two earned runs he allowed in the first were the only ones scord against hm. Four of the six hits gave up also came in the initial frame. Like Ray, he gave up no free transportation. He struck out seven Blue Jays.

Lou Trivino, however, wasn’t as effective and Romano. He walked the number nine hitter, McGwire, who promptly was replaced by the newly arrived pinch runner Jonathan Davis, and the wheels came off. Semien singled Davis to second.

Bichette forced Semien out at second but beat Andrus’s relay to first, putting runners on the corners with one out. Trivino unleached a wild pitch to Guerrero, allowing Davis to score the tying run and Bichette to take second. He then stole third.

Trivino gave an intentional pass to Junior. Hernández singled to left, scoring Bichette and moving Junior to second. Grichuk´s single to left plated Guerrero and moved Hernández to third and Trivino to the showers. Adam Kolarek, now pitching, fielded Biggio’s bunt to the mound and threw late to home. Credit Biggio with a sacrifice and an RBI, and charge another run to Trivino.

Kolarek heaved a wild pitch that moved both runners up a base. Gurriel grounded out to Andrus, Grichuk scored, and Biggio moved to third. Santiago Espinal, hitting for Reese McGuir lined out to Laureano to end the inning. Toronto now led 7-3.

With David Phelps pitching in the bottom of the eighth, the A’s managed to sneak a little closer on a walk to Olson and an RBI double by Murphy.

Toronto punished that meek uprising with a two run double by Guerrero in the top of the ninth that ended the scoring for both teams, leaving the A’s looking up at a 9-4 defeat.

The responsiblity for Oakland’s loss can be hinted at by the numbers of their relief pitchers.

Pitcher. IP. H. R. ER. BB. K PC (strikes)

Trivino. 1/3. 3. 5. 5. 2. 0. 19 (9) Kolarek. 2/3. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 9 (7) Weems. 1. 1. 2. 2. 2. 1. 27 (13)

WP: Trivino, Kolarek

Toronto used a total of five moundsmen, Ray, Romano, Phelps, Tyler Chatwood, and Ryan Borucki. Romano got the win. The loss, and concommitant blown save, went to Lou Trivino, who now is 1-1, 4:15.

Tomorrow afternoon’s game is scheduled for 12:37. Hyun Jin Ryu (1-2, 2.60) will start for the Jays and Mike Fiers (0-1, 4.50) will toe the rubber for the Athletics.