Athletics

Fowler hits first career homer, leads A's to second straight win vs Jays

Fowler hits first career homer, leads A's to second straight win vs Jays

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TORONTO -- Dustin Fowler hit his first career home run and also had a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh inning, Josh Phegley hit an RBI double in his season debut, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Friday night.

Danny Coulombe (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the victory as Oakland won for the fourth time in five games. The Athletics have won back-to-back games in Toronto after losing their previous six there.

Right-hander Marco Estrada (2-4) allowed three runs in 6 2-3 innings to lose his third straight decision as the slumping Blue Jays lost for the 10th time in 13 home games.

For the second straight game, an injury forced Oakland to make an early call to the bullpen. Left-hander Brett Anderson lasted one inning before leaving because of a strained shoulder.

On Thursday, right-hander Andrew Triggs left after 2 1-3 innings because of nerve irritation in his hand and arm.

Josh Lucas, one of two right-handers recalled from Triple-A before the game, replaced Anderson and struck out five of the first six batters he faced. Lucas allowed one run and two hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Chris Hatcher worked the seventh, Yusmeiro Petit got two outs in the eighth, and Blake Treinen finished for his ninth save in 11 opportunities.

The Blue Jays got two hits off Anderson in the first, but the inning ended when left fielder Matt Joyce threw out Curtis Granderson at home plate.

Fowler, one of three players acquired from the New York Yankees last July for pitcher Sonny Gray, hit a leadoff blast to left in the third.

Toronto tied it on an RBI single by Gio Urshela in the fifth, but Oakland chased Estrada with three straight two-out doubles in the seventh, including run-scoring hits by Fowler and Phegley.

All seven hits off Estrada were for extra bases - six doubles and Fowler's homer.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: Oakland optioned RHP Ryan Dull to Triple-A Nashville and placed Triggs on the 10-day disabled list. The A's recalled Lucas and RHP Emilio Pagan from Nashville. ... 3B Matt Chapman was held out of the starting lineup for the first time this season. Chapman came on to play defense in the eighth.

Blue Jays: Toronto placed LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled RHP Deck McGuire from Triple-A Buffalo. RHP Sam Gaviglio will start Saturday in place of injured RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder), and RHP Joe Biagini will take Garcia's turn Sunday. ... OF Teoscar Hernandez (sore back) missed his second straight game.

UP NEXT

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (5-4, 2.35) has allowed four runs in each of his past three starts after allowing six totals runs over his first six starts.

Blue Jays: Gaviglio (1-0, 2.08) will be making his first start with Toronto after two relief appearances. He made 13 big league starts in 2017, 11 for Seattle and two for Kansas City.

A's starting pitchers taming Tigers, rest of American League in May

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AP

A's starting pitchers taming Tigers, rest of American League in May

The A's weakness this season was supposed to be their rotation. Recently, they've bucked that notion.

Daniel Mengden is the latest A's starting pitcher to have a dominant outing. He went seven innings Saturday in Oakland's 4-1 win in Detroit, and only allowed one earned run while striking out five. 

"He's got good stuff, he can mix his pitches really well," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Mengden after the win. "He's a true four-pitch guy."

In the last month, the A's five-man mix of Mengden, Frankie Montas, Mike Fiers, Chris Bassitt and Brett Anderson has been among the best in the American League. 

Mengden followed a career first for Montas. On Friday, Montas pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his career and struck out a career-high 10 batters. 

"We knew he had a lot of talent in him, but he's taking it to another level right now," Melvin told reporters Friday when asked about Montas' start.

Coming into their four-game road series with the Tigers, the A's had lost three in a row. They're now riding a three-game win streak, thanks to their starting arms. The trio of Bassitt, Montas and Mengden combined to throw 23 2/3 innings while allowing only three earned runs. They also struck out 22 batters and only walked four.

And the A's soon could have more help on the way.

[RELATED: Melvin raves about Montas after longest outing of his career]

Jharel Cotton pitched in his first rehab assignment in Class A for the Stockton Ports on Thursday. Sean Manaea quietly has been throwing bullpens, and top prospect Jesus Luzardo threw his first bullpen Tuesday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Oakland's starting pitchers' ERA now is just outside the top five in the American League. Though they're still in the bottom of the AL West, the A's are trending up, with reinforcements coming down the road.

A's vs. Tigers lineup: Khris Davis scratched from matinee at Comerica Park

A's vs. Tigers lineup: Khris Davis scratched from matinee at Comerica Park

The A's arrived in Detroit looking for something to snap them out of their funk, and they found exactly what they were looking for in the struggling Tigers.

Bob Melvin's club pummeled the Tigers 17-3 in Game 1 of the series Thursday, and Frankie Montas struck out a career-high 10 batters to lead Oakland to a 7-3 win Friday.

The A's lineup will look a little different Saturday at Comerica Park, though.

Khris Davis initially was scheduled to be in the lineup batting cleanup, but he was scratched from the order and replaced by Robbie Grossman. Grossman will bat sixth and play left field, and Stephen Piscotty will take over Davis’ designated hitter role and bat fourth.

Davis was scratched because of his sore left hip and is day to day. 

Oakland will give the ball to right-hander Daniel Mengden on Saturday. Mengden gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings during a 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians in his first start after being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Here are the full lineups for Saturday's A's vs. Tigers game: 

Oakland Athletics (21-25)
Marcus Semien, SS
Mark Canha, 1B
Matt Chapman, 3B
Stephen Piscotty, DH
Chad Pinder, RF
Robbie Grossman, LF
Ramon Laureano, CF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Nick Hundley, C

Daniel Mengden, RHP (0-1, 6.75 ERA)

[RELATED: Olson's power hasn't been affected by hand surgery]

Detroit Tigers (18-25)
Josh Harrison, 2B
Dawal Lugo, 3B
Nicholas Castellanos, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Ronny Rodriguez, SS
Christin Stewart, LF
Brandon Dixon, DH
Grayson Greiner, C
JaCoby Jones, CF

Matthew Boyd, LHP (4-3, 3.15 ERA)