Toronto at Oakland

Venue: Coliseum

Following their last series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Oakland Athletics were on a four-game losing streak and struggling to score.

They're on the verge of another four-game skid fueled by a lack of offense as these division leaders play the first of four meetings Thursday night in Oakland.

The Athletics (51-33) scored seven times in dropping a season-high four in a row May 22-25, with the last five of those runs coming in a three-game sweep at Toronto.

Oakland finds itself in its worst offensive slump since then, as it pushed seven runs across the plate in dropping all three games in Detroit this week. The A's, who lead the AL with 425 runs, entered that series with nine wins in the previous 11 games.

''This wasn't a very good series for us - getting swept never feels too good," manager Bob Melvin said.

Brandon Moss went 4 for 4 with a homer and Coco Crisp also homered while going 3 for 4 in Wednesday's 9-3 loss. Moss is batting .423 over the last six games.

Toronto (47-39) was also having trouble scoring before sweeping a two-game series against visiting Milwaukee. The Blue Jays managed seven runs in losing three in a row before winning 4-1 on Tuesday and 7-4 on Wednesday.

Edwin Encarnacion's three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning was the difference in the latest game. It was his 26th home run, and Jose Bautista and Juan Francisco also went deep for the Blue Jays, who lead the majors with 113 homers.

Encarnacion is batting .404 with six homers and 15 RBIs in the last 13 contests.

"For me, it's the best moment you have," Encarnacion told MLB's official website. "For any player, to have a walk-off home run ... everyone is happy on the team, and now we have a five-hour, happy flight to take (to Oakland)."

The A's will look to get back on track against R.A. Dickey (6-7, 4.24 ERA), who shut them down May 24. The right-hander had his best start of the season, allowing two runs and five hits over 8 1-3 innings of a 5-2 win.

Dickey, though, is trying to avoid losing four straight starts for the first time since May 13-28, 2004, while with Texas. He gave up four homers and five runs over six innings of a 5-4 defeat to the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

The home runs were the most he allowed since giving up six against the Tigers on April 6, 2006, in his first major league start as a knuckleballer. He's allowed 13 homers over his last eight starts after giving up three in his first nine.

''He's going to give them up,'' manager John Gibbons said. ''That's what that pitch does. You get a lot of fly balls on that pitch."

Dickey is 1-5 with a 4.83 ERA in seven road starts, but has a 2.25 ERA in four at Oakland while allowing two homers in 24 innings.

The A's will turn to Sonny Gray, who has struggled in the last month after getting off to a solid start. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 5.50 ERA in his last six outings after going 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his first 10.

Gray (7-3, 3.20) gave up a season high-tying five runs in a season-low five innings of Saturday's 7-6, 14-inning win at Miami.

He lost 5-4 in his only start against Toronto on Aug. 10, as Bautista went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer in their matchups. Colby Rasmus was the only other Blue Jay to get a hit off of him in six innings.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Toronto5th AL East3639.48054-6 W 1
Oakland5th AL West3442.44717 ½ 6-4 W 3

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Series Game Log
Apr 14OAKHOU 7-2Keuchel Madson 
Apr 15OAKHOU 10-6Harris Casilla 
Apr 16OAKPPD   
Apr 28HOUHOU 9-4Morton Cotton 
Apr 29HOUOAK 2-1Triggs Musgrove 
Apr 30HOUHOU 7-2Keuchel Hahn 
Jun 19OAKHOU 4-1Peacock Gossett 
Jun 20OAKHOU 8-4Martes Gray 
Jun 21OAKHOU 5-1Fiers Manaea 
Jun 22OAKHOU 12-9Paulino Hahn 
Jun 27HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 28HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 29HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Aug 18HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 19HOU 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 20HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 8OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 9OAK 4:05 PM EDT  
Sep 9OAK 7:35 PM EDT  
Sep 10OAK 4:05 PM EDT