|Toronto (41-43) «||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||2||0||10||9||2|
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Matt Stairs and Dustin McGowan did their best to make sure the Toronto Blue Jays would have a pleasant flight home from their longest road trip of the season.
Stairs homered and drove in four runs, McGowan pitched seven scoreless innings and the Blue Jays wrapped up their 10-game trip with a 10-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
"It's nice on a getaway day when you jump to a big lead early and know that you'll have a pretty good flight home," Stairs said. "Going 4-6 isn't too bad for a West Coast trip."
McGowan (5-4) got all the support he needed in the first inning when Stairs hit a two-run double and the Blue Jays took advantage of four walks to chase a wild Joe Kennedy (2-7) with four runs.
Stairs also hit a two-run homer in the third off Shane Komine. Vernon Wells added his third homer of the series, a solo shot in the sixth, and a two-run double in the eighth as Toronto took two of three in Oakland.
The A's managed only a pair of hits in the third inning and two more in the seventh against McGowan, who continued his recent pattern of alternating good starts with bad over his past five outings. McGowan allowed four hits and two walks, striking out three against the A's.
He has an 0.82 ERA in his three wins during that span, including a one-hit shutout against Colorado on June 24 when he took a no-hit bid into the ninth inning. In his two losses, McGowan has a 14.85 ERA.
McGowan said the difference in this start was that he had the early lead and was able to avoid the big inning.
"When we're swinging like that we're tough to beat," McGowan said. "It's easier to pitch because you can go out there knowing that no matter what you can still attack the zone."
Jack Cust got Oakland on the board in the eighth with a two-run double against Jordan De Jong. Dan Johnson added an RBI single for the Athletics, who have lost nine of 13.
Kennedy was unable to find the strike zone after retiring Wells on a fly ball to right on the first pitch of the game. Alex Rios followed with a single and Kennedy walked the next three batters to force in a run. Stairs followed with a two-run double.
"It was one of those things where we kind of pulled some A's baseball on them in the first inning when we took some pitches and went deep in the count," Stairs said. "When they threw some strikes we hit it pretty good."
Gregg Zaun hit a sacrifice fly before Kennedy walked Curtis Thigpen. That brought manager Bob Geren out to make a pitching change, giving Kennedy his shortest outing in 139 career starts.
"He just looked like he had trouble throwing strikes early and got down by four," Geren said. "I just felt like we had a lot of bullpen left because of the complete game last night by Joe Blanton and I just wanted to see if we could salvage it and I just felt that bringing Komine in there might give us a better chance."
Kennedy allowed four runs and two hits in two-thirds of an inning and is 0-3 with a 7.84 ERA in five starts since beating Boston on June 6. He left without talking to reporters.
"He didn't get the ball over the plate," catcher Jason Kendall said. "You're going to have outings like that. Put this one behind you."
|Players of the Game|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Vernon Wells, CF||4||2||2||1||1||0||0||.255|
|Alex Rios, RF||3||1||2||3||1||0||0||.295|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||.277|
|Howie Clark, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.294|
|Frank Thomas, DH||4||1||1||0||1||1||4||.247|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||4||2||0||1||1||0||4||.265|
|Matt Stairs, LF||4||1||2||4||0||1||0||.297|
|Adam Lind, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.230|
|Gregg Zaun, C||3||0||1||1||1||0||0||.226|
|Curtis Thigpen, 1B||4||0||0||0||1||0||2||.286|
|Royce Clayton, SS||3||2||0||0||1||0||3||.226|
|2B - Vernon Wells (22, Komine), Alex Rios (21, Marshall), Matt Stairs (9, Kennedy)|
|HR - Vernon Wells (12, Komine), Matt Stairs (13, Komine)|
|SF - Alex Rios (6), Gregg Zaun (5)|
|RBI - Vernon Wells (46), Alex Rios 3 (50), Aaron Hill (47), Matt Stairs 4 (33), Gregg Zaun (20)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Hill-Clayton-Thigpen|
|E - Howie Clark (1, Throwing), Alex Rios (5, Dropped fly)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Dustin McGowan (W,5-4)||7||4||0||0||2||4||0||4.65|
|Jordan De Jong||0.2||3||3||1||0||0||0||6.75|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dustin McGowan 101-62, Jordan De Jong 30-18, Brian Tallet 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin McGowan 7-10, Jordan De Jong 1-2, Brian Tallet 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Dustin McGowan 27, Jordan De Jong 6, Brian Tallet 4|
|Shannon Stewart, LF||5||1||1||0||0||1||0||.305|
|Mark Kotsay, CF||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.246|
|Dee Brown, RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Nick Swisher, RF-CF||4||1||1||0||0||2||3||.267|
|Jack Cust, DH||4||1||1||2||0||1||3||.280|
|Eric Chavez, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.249|
|Donnie Murphy, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Dan Johnson, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.269|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.270|
|Bobby Crosby, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.232|
|Jason Kendall, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.223|
|2B - Nick Swisher (19, De Jong), Jack Cust (10, De Jong), Eric Chavez (21, McGowan)|
|RBI - Jack Cust 2 (41), Dan Johnson (36)|
|2-OUT RBI - Dan Johnson (12)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Joe Kennedy (L,2-7)||0.2||2||4||4||4||0||0||4.28|
|HBP - Clayton (by Shane Komine)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kennedy 36-17, Shane Komine 96-56, Jay Marshall 51-26|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shane Komine 10-8, Jay Marshall 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Joe Kennedy 8, Shane Komine 27, Jay Marshall 10|
|Attendance - 26566|
|Game Time - 2:54|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Charlie Reliford|