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Loaiza throws complete-game four-hitter, A's shut out Jays

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Esteban Loaiza has turned his season around just when the Oakland Athletics need him most.

Loaiza pitched a four-hitter for his first shutout in more than two years, and Frank Thomas and Milton Bradley homered to lead the Athletics to a 6-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Loaiza -- signed to a three-year, $21 million contract in the offseason -- was booed at home in April when he went 0-3 with a 8.35 ERA. He was also arrested for DUI and spent May on the DL.

"Right now, I'm playing good ball and feeling great," Loaiza said. "Whatever was said in April and May was said. I don't read the newspapers."

Loaiza (7-7) retired 15 straight batters during one stretch. He struck out seven and walked none for his sixth career shutout and his first since April 18, 2004, versus Tampa Bay.

Oakland, which began the day with four-game lead over Los Angeles in the AL West, has won 19 of its last 24 games.

Loaiza has allowed just one earned run in his last three starts.

"His last three starts have been terrific. It's a great time for him to be pitching like that," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.

Macha said the difference now is that he's added 10 mph to his fastball because he's healthy.

"From April till now there's probably a whole different view from the fans," Macha said.

Thomas hit his 475th homer, tying Willie Stargell and Stan Musial for 23rd on the all-time list. Thomas hit a two-run shot in the first off Gustavo Chacin (6-3) for his 27th homer.

Bradley's two-run shot in the second made it 5-0.

"I just missed my spots and got hurt," Chacin said.

The left-hander, activated from the disabled list before the game, struggled in his first start after missing more than two months with a sore elbow. He allowed five runs on six hits in just 1 1/3 innings, after going 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in four rehab starts in the minors.

"He felt good," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "It was good to see him out on the mound. He's a big part of our team, it just wasn't his night."

Oakland sent 10 men to the plate in the first and scored three runs on Bradley's RBI double and Thomas' homer.

Chacin walked Mark Ellis before Bradley's homer in the second. Jason Kendall's RBI grounder in the sixth made it 6-0.

Notes

  • Thomas has 1,540 RBI, tying him with Stargell for 37th on the all-time list.
  • Loaiza has allowed just one home run in his last seven games after giving up 12 in his first 12 appearances.
 
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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Esteban Loaiza is pumped after recording his first shutout in more than two years.  (AP)
Esteban Loaiza is pumped after recording his first shutout in more than two years. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

E. Loaiza
IP 9.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 7
Oakland

M. Bradley
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C5121001 .291
Mark Ellis, 2B3100213 .224
Milton Bradley, RF5223004 .270
Frank Thomas, DH4122110 .268
    Antonio Perez, PR-DH0000000 .091
Jay Payton, CF4010001 .291
Eric Chavez, 3B5010002 .241
Bobby Kielty, LF5120014 .273
Nick Swisher, 1B2000201 .249
Marco Scutaro, SS4000106 .241
Totals3761066322 
Batting
2B - Jason Kendall (19, Romero), Milton Bradley (9, Chacin), Bobby Kielty (14, Downs)
HR - Milton Bradley (10, Chacin), Frank Thomas (27, Chacin)
RBI - Jason Kendall (34), Milton Bradley 3 (36), Frank Thomas 2 (75)
SB - Jason Kendall 2 (8, 2nd base off Chacin/Molina, 2nd base off Romero/Molina)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Chavez-Ellis-Swisher
Oakland Athletics
Esteban Loaiza (W,7-7) 9400070 5.12
Pitches-Strikes - Esteban Loaiza 103-73
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esteban Loaiza 7-12
Batters Faced - Esteban Loaiza 30
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF4020010 .326
Frank Catalanotto, DH4000012 .311
Vernon Wells, CF4000011 .318
Troy Glaus, 3B3000000 .260
Lyle Overbay, 1B3010010 .308
Alex Rios, RF3000011 .302
Bengie Molina, C3000001 .279
Aaron Hill, 2B3010000 .291
John McDonald, SS3000021 .222
Totals30040076 
Batting
2B - Lyle Overbay (38, Loaiza)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
PB - Bengie Molina (10)
Toronto Blue Jays
Gustavo Chacin (L,6-3) 1.1655312 6.32
Davis Romero 3.1211200 1.50
Scott Downs 3.1200010 4.64
Jason Frasor 1000110 4.89
HBP - Payton (by Gustavo Chacin), Swisher (by Davis Romero)
Pitches-Strikes - Gustavo Chacin 61-35, Davis Romero 50-29, Scott Downs 39-23, Jason Frasor 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Davis Romero 6-4, Scott Downs 6-3
Batters Faced - Gustavo Chacin 14, Davis Romero 15, Scott Downs 12, Jason Frasor 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32516
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman