OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Blue Jays' offensive philosophy is simple, and it's working superbly so far: Grind out every at-bat.
Manager John Gibbons isn't ready to promise such offensive output every night, but he sure likes what he's seeing from his hitters. The Blue Jays are balanced, evidenced by the bottom four in their order reaching base 11 times.
"We're tough, we're pesky and we're going to grind out at-bats," Hinske said. "We were all getting hits one through nine. Every time I came up there were guys on base. It's fun to hit on a night like that when you put up 10 runs. We're just trying to roll with it."
Gustavo Chacin (2-0) pitched six strong innings and didn't allow a run until Eric Byrnes' homer leading off the sixth. The efficient left-hander worked with a lead from the beginning in his fourth career start.
The Blue Jays' powerful lineup clobbered right-hander Kirk Saarloos (1-1) in a hurry, getting five runs and six hits in the first two innings.
"The guys are hitting really good," Chacin said. "I don't want to put pressure on myself to be too perfect. I just tried to put the ball in play."
Toronto began a nine-game road trip with another impressive victory, marking the second time in three games the Blue Jays scored at least 10 runs. They are 5-2 after going 7-15 in April last season -- already having won their first two series of the year, including taking two of three from the World Series champion Boston Red Sox over the weekend.
"We want to take that momentum on the road," Hinske said. "Beating them in their home opener is huge."
Gibbons is optimistic the Blue Jays will be better on the road this year after their dismal 27-53 mark away from home last season.
This is the first time Oakland is not over .500 through seven games since starting 2-10 in 2001, when the A's went on to win 102 games -- second to Seattle's 116 victories.
Mark Ellis added two hits with an RBI for the A's, who lost their home opener before a sellout crowd of 44,815.
Toronto loaded the bases in the first when Saarloos plunked Shea Hillenbrand with two outs, then Hinske hit a sharp two-run single to left to give the Blue Jays the lead.
"Their hitters had a plan," A's manager Ken Macha said. "They were patient. (Saarloos) didn't establish both sides of the plate."
Chacin, who has won three of his four career starts, allowed eight hits and two runs, struck out four and walked one. He has a 2.45 ERA with seven strikeouts and two walks in his two outings.
"He's got so many things," Gibbons said. "He's got great composure for a young guy. We think we've got a pretty good one here."
Saarloos has made an impressive comeback after missing more than two months of last season with bone spurs on his elbow. He came to camp as a non-roster player, then surprisingly emerged as the fifth starter.
The 25-year-old Saarloos, acquired by Oakland last April 17 in a trade with Houston, lasted only 3 2/3 innings and looked nothing like the pitcher who threw six shutout innings and allowed only one hit in a 9-0 win at Baltimore last Wednesday.
"I left everything up and in the middle and they did a good job of hitting," he said. "When I came out, I knew what I did wrong. If I was hitting my spots it would have been different."
He gave up six runs and eight hits, struck out two and walked three. A's rookie reliever Huston Street pitched two scoreless innings, retiring all six batters he faced and striking out the side in the eighth.
|Toronto's Orlando Hudson greets Russ Adams and Gregg Zaun after they cross the plate on a triple. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Frank Catalanotto, LF||4||2||2||3||0||1||0||.333|
|Reed Johnson, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||2||3||.250|
|Vernon Wells, CF||4||0||0||1||0||0||4||.207|
|Corey Koskie, 3B||3||1||1||0||2||1||0||.208|
|Shea Hillenbrand, DH||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.333|
|Eric Hinske, 1B||5||2||3||2||0||1||0||.417|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||1||1||1||1||1||2||.400|
|Gregg Zaun, C||1||1||1||1||3||0||0||.300|
|Russ Adams, SS||5||1||2||1||0||0||2||.313|
|2B - Shea Hillenbrand (2, Saarloos), Russ Adams (2, Saarloos)|
|3B - Frank Catalanotto (1, Saarloos)|
|SF - Frank Catalanotto (1), Vernon Wells (1), Gregg Zaun (1)|
|RBI - Frank Catalanotto 3 (4), Vernon Wells (3), Shea Hillenbrand (4), Eric Hinske 2 (10), Alex Rios (5), Gregg Zaun (9), Russ Adams (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Shea Hillenbrand (2), Eric Hinske 2 (6)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Koskie-Hudson-Hinske, Hudson-R. Adams-Hinske|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Gustavo Chacin (W,2-0)||6||8||2||2||1||4||1||2.45|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gustavo Chacin 100-67, Vinny Chulk 27-16, Justin Speier 19-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gustavo Chacin 5-8, Vinny Chulk 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Gustavo Chacin 26, Vinny Chulk 6, Justin Speier 5|
|Mark Kotsay, CF||5||0||0||0||0||1||2||.379|
|Eric Byrnes, LF||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.227|
|Jason Kendall, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Adam Melhuse, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Eric Chavez, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.208|
|Bobby Kielty, DH||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.000|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Charles Thomas, RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||3||1||2||1||1||0||0||.429|
|Nick Swisher, RF-1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.192|
|Marco Scutaro, SS||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.250|
|2B - Scott Hatteberg (1, Chacin), Marco Scutaro (2, Speier)|
|HR - Eric Byrnes (2, Chacin)|
|RBI - Eric Byrnes (4), Mark Ellis (2), Marco Scutaro (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mark Ellis (2), Marco Scutaro (1)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Eric Chavez (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kirk Saarloos (L,1-1)||3.2||8||6||6||3||2||0||5.59|
|IBB - Koskie by Kirk Saarloos|
|HBP - Hillenbrand (by Kirk Saarloos)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kirk Saarloos 80-45, Juan Cruz 52-28, Huston Street 25-19, Keiichi Yabu 17-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kirk Saarloos 5-4, Juan Cruz 1-6, Huston Street 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Kirk Saarloos 23, Juan Cruz 13, Huston Street 6, Keiichi Yabu 3|
|Attendance - 44815|
|Game Time - 2:48|
|Temperature - 59|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Brian O'Nora|