Toronto at Oakland

W: J. Blanton (8-4) L: J. Litsch (1-3)
HR: TOR - None   OAK - J. Cust (15)

Athletics 3, Blue Jays 1

CBS wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Joe Blanton felt safe when he saw manager Bob Geren approach the mound with two outs in the ninth inning. He had just walked his first batter with slugger Troy Glaus coming to the plate.

After a brief conference, Geren showed confidence in his bulky right-hander and allowed him one more batter. That's all Blanton needed.

Blanton (8-4) threw a four-hitter for his AL-leading third complete game and the Oakland Athletics won for the third time in four games, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Tuesday night.

"I told him it's my game and I wanted it," Blanton said of the mound visit. "He actually came out to ask me how I felt. If I was gassed I would have said so."

Mark Kotsay drove in two runs and Jack Cust added an eighth-inning home run for Oakland.

"Cust's home run gave Joe the chance to finish the game," Kotsay said. "Joe pitches lights out all the time. He attacks the zone and has that bulldog mentality. He stayed aggressive."

Jesse Litsch (1-3) returned to the Blue Jays rotation with seven strong innings but two errors led to a pair of unearned runs. Litsch, who made four starts in May, allowed seven hits. He walked three and struck out five.

"It was a quick game and I wished it turned out a little better," Litsch said. "I'm about as satisfied as I can be."

Blanton, who is nearly unhittable at home, won his third straight decision as he struck out four and walked one. Blanton has allowed three runs in his past 33 1/3 innings at home and lowered his AL-best home ERA to 1.69.

"Both guys pitched great," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Blanton was awfully tough here and always against us."

Blanton retired 26 of the final 29 batters following Alex Rios' RBI single in the first inning.

"I didn't have my sinker against Cleveland and I didn't know what to expect," Blanton said. "That's a pitch that allows me to go deep into the game. It wasn't great but it helped me out. The curve worked well and kept hitters off balance."

Gregg Zaun's one-out double into right-center field set up the Blue Jays' only run.

Shannon Stewart set Oakland's offense in motion with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first. He stole second and went to third when Zaun's throw went into center field. He scored on Kotsay's infield grounder.

In the second, Bobby Crosby hit a one-out single and advanced to third when Glaus committed a fielding error on Stewart's grounder. Kotsay followed with a run-scoring single.

"I knew he was going to try to get ahead of me with that cutter so I was looking for it," Kotsay said. "I was able to drive it to right."

The Blue Jays had a pitcher warming up in the second but Litsch settled in to keep the A's scoreless the rest of his stint.

Cust led off the eighth with a homer -- his 15th -- against Brian Wolfe.

Kotsay also recorded his third outfield assist when he threw out Glaus trying to advance to second on Frank Thomas' deep fly in the seventh. Kotsay's 108 assists since 1998 are the most by any major league outfielder.

"As an outfielder you're taught to get behind the ball and follow through," Kotsay said. "I made a good, accurate throw and it was a positive result."


A's INF Marco Scutaro, who was hit by a pitch on his left hand Monday night, was cleared to play after X-rays were negative. ... Rios batted third for just the fourth time this season. ... Litsch lasted just two-thirds of an inning in his previous major league start against the New York Yankees.

Copyright 2017 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.
Players of the Game

J. Blanton
IP 9.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 4

A. Rios
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Toronto Blue Jays
Vernon Wells, CF4000010 .252
Gregg Zaun, C4110010 .223
Alex Rios, RF3021100 .292
Troy Glaus, 3B4010003 .278
Frank Thomas, DH3000002 .247
Matt Stairs, 1B3000001 .293
Aaron Hill, 2B3000000 .269
Adam Lind, LF3000020 .231
John McDonald, SS2000000 .290
   a- Howie Clark, PH1000000 .290
    Royce Clayton, SS0000000 .231
a-lined out for McDonald in the 8th
2B - Gregg Zaun (7, Blanton)
RBI - Alex Rios (47)
SB - Alex Rios (9, 2nd base off Blanton/Kendall)
Team LOB - 3
DP - McDonald-Stairs, Stairs-McDonald-Hill
E - Troy Glaus (4, Throwing), Gregg Zaun (2, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Litsch (L,1-3) 7720350 4.74
Brian Wolfe 1111011 3.12
WP - Jesse Litsch (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 106-65, Brian Wolfe 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Litsch 9-6, Brian Wolfe 1-1
Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 30, Brian Wolfe 4
Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF4120001 .307
Mark Kotsay, CF4012002 .241
Nick Swisher, RF2000202 .267
Jack Cust, DH4111033 .280
Eric Chavez, 3B3010110 .248
Dan Johnson, 1B4000013 .269
Mark Ellis, 2B4010010 .273
Bobby Crosby, SS3110001 .232
Jason Kendall, C3010001 .226
2B - Jason Kendall (9, Litsch)
HR - Jack Cust (15, Wolfe)
RBI - Mark Kotsay 2 (12), Jack Cust (39)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Kotsay (5)
SB - Shannon Stewart (8, 3rd base off Litsch/Zaun), Nick Swisher (2, 2nd base off Litsch/Zaun)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Mark Kotsay 1
DP - Kotsay-Ellis
E - Mark Kotsay (1, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (W,8-4) 9411140 3.09
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 121-79
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 11-11
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 31
Game Information
Attendance - 35077
Game Time - 2:08
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Tony Randazzo