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Toronto at Oakland

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Athletics 5, Blue Jays 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Joe Blanton was just hoping to pitch the way he had in his first four starts. Getting his first major league win was a bonus.

Blanton allowed four hits over seven strong innings, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.

"I wasn't thinking about winning a whole lot lately," Blanton said. "I tried to iron out some mechanics so I could get back to throwing like I can. It's a little special but in five days I have to go back out and I need to keep working on things."

Blanton had not made it out of the fifth inning in five of his previous six starts and that included an awful outing in Tamp Bay on May 25 in which he allowed eight runs while getting just one out.

"After the debacle in Tampa he's rebounded very well," A's manager Ken Macha said. "As an organization we feel he's our future."

Blanton got a big defensive play from Eric Byrnes, who also had a game-tying home run.

After Orlando Hudson and Frank Catalanotto singled to open the sixth, Vernon Wells hit a flyball to center field. Byrnes turned it into a double play when he threw out Hudson trying to advance to third.

"I look at that as the game," Blanton said. "It was a huge double play. That was a great throw."

Byrnes, who was in center only because Mark Kotsay sat out with tightness in his back, was more worried about catching the ball.

"I haven't been playing a lot in center so I was going to worry about the baserunners after I caught the ball," Byrnes said. "I don't think it was a terrible play on him; I was just fortunate enough to make a good throw to get him."

Byrnes hit his homer in the bottom of the sixth.

"All of a sudden Byrnes becomes clutch like he always does," said Nick Swisher, who hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh. "Byrnes also caught the final out so I ran over to make sure I got the ball for Blanton. To finally get that first win, it's a heck of a night for him."

Eric Chavez also homered and Dan Johnson added three hits as the A's won their fifth in six games following a season-worst eight-game skid.

Vernon Wells and Alex Rios each homered for the Blue Jays, who lost their third in four games.

Blanton (1-5) won for the first time in 11 starts. He struck out three and walked one.

Wells hit a solo home run with two outs in the first and Rios homered with two outs in the second to give Toronto an early 2-0 lead.

Blanton settled down to retire the next 10 batters he faced and got out of a jam in the sixth.

"He made pitches when he needed and did a great job of keeping his team in the game," Wells said. "He gave their offense a chance to come through."

Former A's starter Ted Lilly, making his 20th career start in Oakland, retired 13 of the first 15 hitters he faced and looked nothing like the pitcher who brought a 9.92 road ERA into the contest.

Lilly (3-6) ran into trouble by walking Chavez with two outs in the sixth. Byrnes then connected for his fifth home run of the year, tying the game at 2-all.

The former All-Star had an 8.56 ERA against his former team in three previous career starts, his highest against any AL opponent. His seven wins in Oakland are his most anywhere except for Toronto.

"I'm pretty discouraged," Lilly said. "Right now it seems like I'm finding a way to lose. That at-bat to Byrnes was a situation where I needed to make good pitches. You can only get away with mistakes for so long an he ended up making me pay."

Bobby Crosby walked and Johnson doubled to open the seventh against Lilly, who fell to 0-4 on the road. Swisher hit a sharp grounder up the middle, which Russ Adams dove to stop but then -- sitting on the ground -- threw wildly to first, allowing a second run to score.

Lilly allowed four runs on six hits in six-plus innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Ricardo Rincon recorded the first two outs of the eighth for the A's, and rookie Huston Street got the final four outs for his second save in four opportunities.

Notes

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons missed the game because of an illness. He was released from a San Francisco hospital and is expected to manage on Sunday. Bench coach Ernie Whitt ran the team. ... 1B coach Mickey Brantley missed his second straight game to attend his son's high school graduation in Florida. ... The A's hit more than one homer in a game for the first time since May 6 and just the fifth time all season. ... RHP Kiko Calero is expected to be activated off the DL in the next few days.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Oakland

E. Chavez
AB 2
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Oakland

J. Blanton
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 1
K 3
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Orlando Hudson, 2B4010001 .257
Frank Catalanotto, LF3010000 .320
   a- Reed Johnson, PH-LF1000011 .291
Vernon Wells, CF4111000 .242
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B3000121 .312
Eric Hinske, 1B4000001 .272
Aaron Hill, DH3000000 .351
Gregg Zaun, C3000010 .258
Alex Rios, RF3111010 .296
Russ Adams, SS2000000 .230
   b- John McDonald, PH-SS1010000 .345
Totals31252154 
a-struck out for Catalanotto in the 8th
b-singled for R. Adams in the 8th
Batting
HR - Vernon Wells (12, Blanton), Alex Rios (3, Blanton)
RBI - Vernon Wells (28), Alex Rios (25)
2-OUT RBI - Vernon Wells (9), Alex Rios (4)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Russ Adams (8, Wild throw)
Toronto Blue Jays
Ted Lilly (L,3-6) 6644321 7.41
Vinnie Chulk 1000010 3.46
Justin Speier 1111001 4.50
WP - Vinnie Chulk (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 106-67, Vinnie Chulk 13-9, Justin Speier 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 4-12, Vinnie Chulk 1-1
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 27, Vinnie Chulk 3, Justin Speier 4
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C4000004 .241
Mark Ellis, 2B4000000 .271
Bobby Kielty, LF4000011 .280
Eric Chavez, 3B2211210 .233
Eric Byrnes, CF4112001 .246
Scott Hatteberg, DH4000010 .270
Bobby Crosby, SS3110100 .333
Dan Johnson, 1B3130000 .267
Nick Swisher, RF3011002 .229
Totals31574338 
Batting
2B - Dan Johnson (2, Lilly)
HR - Eric Chavez (6, Speier), Eric Byrnes (5, Lilly)
RBI - Eric Chavez (29), Eric Byrnes 2 (18), Nick Swisher (16)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Byrnes 2 (10)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Eric Byrnes 1
DP - Byrnes-Chavez
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (W,1-5) 7422132 6.14
Ricardo Rincon (H,7) 0.2100010 3.38
Huston Street (S,2) 1.1000010 1.80
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 91-57, Ricardo Rincon 13-8, Huston Street 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 8-9, Ricardo Rincon 1-0, Huston Street 2-1
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 25, Ricardo Rincon 3, Huston Street 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25273
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Joe West