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

BOX SCORE

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 notes: Oakland completes best 50-game stretch since 2005

A's notes: Oakland completes best 50-game stretch since 2005

OAKLAND — On June 15, the A's were 34-36, 11 games out of a playoff spot. Since then, all they've done is rattle off 38 wins against 12 losses, their best 50-game stretch in 13 years. Even more incredible, 20 of those 38 wins have been of the comeback variety, and 14 have seen the winning run scored in the eighth inning or later. Oakland has only lost one of its last 17 series (14-1-2), moving within a game of first-place Houston in the AL West.

--- The A's won their 65th straight game when leading at the end of the seventh inning, matching the longest such streak in franchise history (July 21, 1927 – June 23, 1928). Oakland is 50-0 this season when leading at the end of the seventh, and 59-0 when leading at the end of the eighth.

--- Matt Chapman doubled and walked to extend his career-high on-base streak to 28 games. It's the longest active streak in the American League. Chapman also extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games.

--- Marcus Semien hit his third home run in the last four games. He is 9 for his last 17 with three home runs, six RBI, and seven runs scored.

--- Jonathan Lucroy threw out Dee Gordon attempting to steal second base in the eighth inning. Lucroy leads MLB with 22 runners caught stealing this season.

--- The A's have won 11 of their last 12 home games, and 17 of their last 20. For the season, Oakland is 35-23 at the Coliseum.

--- The A's improved to 25-10 in one-run games, the best record in MLB. Seattle fell to 30-16 in one-run contests.

--- Felix Hernandez made his first career relief appearance after making 398 starts. Only Mike Mussina made more career starts before his first relief appearance.

Mike Fiers battles through injury to earn first win with A's

Mike Fiers battles through injury to earn first win with A's

OAKLAND — In the hours leading up to first pitch Tuesday night, Bob Melvin wasn't even sure Mike Fiers would be his starting pitcher.

“He almost didn't make the start,” Melvin said after the game. “He had a lower back/upper glute issue. I had two (lineup) cards made out. I had potentially (Yusmeiro) Petit starting that game.”

Fortunately Fiers was able to battle through the injury and pitch six strong innings, earning his first win as a member of the Athletics.

“I was fine,” Fiers said. “Everyone's not 100 percent this part of the season, but I was fine. I just had a little something going on, but nothing serious at all.”

After allowing a run in the first inning, Fiers settled in and allowed just one more run in the next five innings. He struck out five batters, without issuing a walk.

“The first couple of innings, I was a little worried about him,” Melvin admitted. “He seemed to loosen up and get better as the game went along. But to think that he was going to give us six innings -- he was pitching on adrenaline.”

“I didn't feel anything,” Fiers said. “I just had a little muscle cramp. It was nothing. I just had to stretch and get a little active warmup in, and it went away.”

Fiers has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts, lowering his ERA from 4.29 to 3.38. In two starts with the A's, he has given up just three runs in 11 1/3 innings, for an ERA of 2.38, with 13 strikeouts and no walks.

“They all feel like playoff games,” Fiers said. “This is the spot I wanted to be in. I wanted to be on a team that's winning and heading for the playoffs.”

Fiers has already helped the A's in their playoff push, and he figures to be a vital piece the rest of the season.

“To have a guy go out there and give us a quality start, we're going to need that down the stretch,” said second baseman Jed Lowrie.

“He just goes out there and competes, throws strikes, and goes after guys,” added third baseman Matt Chapman. “It's fun to play defense behind a guy like that.”

“I feel like this team has a lot of trust in me,” Fiers said. “I don't want to let them down. I want to pitch well and give them everything I've got.”