Oakland at Toronto

W: E. Loaiza (1-0) L: A. Burnett (7-7)
S: A. Embree (16)
HR: OAK - J. Cust (21)   TOR - A. Hill (13)

Loaiza outduels Burnett; A's sweep Jays to return to .500

CBSSports.com wire reports

TORONTO -- Just as they do almost every August, the Oakland Athletics are going on a tear.

Esteban Loaiza won his season debut by outpitching A.J. Burnett, and the Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Oakland (64-64) has won four in a row and eight of 10, reaching .500 for the first time since it was 44-44 at the All-Star break. Toronto dropped to .500 at 63-63.

"It happens every year," A's outfielder Nick Swisher said. "Considering all the injuries and stuff that we've had, it's taken a little longer to get it going but if we can continue to play this kind of baseball, it's going to be interesting to see what happens. We're putting a lot of pressure on other teams."

Oakland is 14-7 this month and, with eight games to play, is trying to win 20 games in August for the sixth time in seven years.

"It's coming together," manager Bob Geren said. "The atmosphere is great. The team is right there and I really feel like we all think we can win every night. It's a good feeling."

Sidelined since March with neck and knee injuries, Loaiza (1-0) allowed one run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two, throwing 110 pitches.

"He looked like he was in midseason form," Geren said. "It's great to have him back and it's nice to see that kind of performance, especially the first time out."

After Aaron Hill's solo homer in the fifth, Loaiza retired 12 of his next 13 batters before Reed Johnson singled with two outs in the eighth.

"I threw all my pitches for strikes and felt comfortable with everything," Loaiza said.

Alan Embree finished the four-hitter for his 16th save in 19 chances.

Burnett (7-7) gave up four runs -- one earned -- and four hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts and three walks. It was his first loss in three starts since he came off the disabled list Aug. 12.

Oakland scored four runs in the seventh, thanks to a pair of errors.

Jeff DaVanon reached on an error by first baseman Matt Stairs, who couldn't handle a throw from shortstop John McDonald. One out later, Jack Cust hit his team-leading 21st homer for a 2-1 lead.

"The whole momentum changed when Jack hit that home run," Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis said. "That was huge for us."

Marco Scutaro grounded out, Dan Johnson walked and Ellis hit an RBI double. Ellis scored from second when Hill fumbled a sharp grounder to second by Jack Hannahan.

"What's been costly lately is our defensive errors," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We've made some great plays along the way to save some runs but it's caught up with us a bit lately. In tight games, that's really magnified."

Toronto's Frank Thomas was thrown out at second base in the second and after holding up to make sure Gregg Zaun's liner fell in front of Swisher in right. Swisher fielded the ball on a hop and threw to Scutaro.

"Frank's not the quickest of cats," Swisher said about Thomas, his teammate in Oakland last season.


  • The Blue Jays have hit four homers in their past two games, matching their total from the previous 13 games.
  • Toronto 3B Troy Glaus (plantar fasciitis) was scratched from the starting lineup and replaced by Russ Adams.
  • Loaiza was the 51st player Oakland used this season, the most in the major leagues. Oakland has matched a team record by using the disabled list 22 times.
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.
Righty Esteban Loaiza yields one run on three hits over 7 2/3 innings in his season debut.
Righty Esteban Loaiza yields one run on three hits over 7 2/3 innings in his season debut. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game

J. Cust
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

E. Loaiza
IP 7.2
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 4

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Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF4000001 .293
Jeff DaVanon, CF4110010 .213
Nick Swisher, RF4010021 .260
Jack Cust, DH3112122 .273
Marco Scutaro, SS4010003 .261
Dan Johnson, 1B3110111 .231
Mark Ellis, 2B4111012 .259
Jack Hannahan, 3B4010021 .241
Kurt Suzuki, C3000122 .244
2B - Mark Ellis (25, Burnett)
HR - Jack Cust (21, Burnett)
RBI - Jack Cust 2 (65), Mark Ellis (56)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Ellis (23)
SB - Jack Hannahan (1, 2nd base off Burnett/Zaun)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Nick Swisher 1
Oakland Athletics
Esteban Loaiza (W,1-0) 7.2311241 1.17
Alan Embree (S,16) 1.1100020 3.43
Pitches-Strikes - Esteban Loaiza 110-71, Alan Embree 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esteban Loaiza 3-16
Batters Faced - Esteban Loaiza 28, Alan Embree 5
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF4010000 .262
Matt Stairs, 1B2010110 .291
   a- Curtis Thigpen, PH1000011 .246
    Ray Olmedo, SS0000000 .333
Alex Rios, RF4000012 .310
Vernon Wells, CF4000022 .261
Frank Thomas, DH3010100 .260
Aaron Hill, 2B4111012 .264
Gregg Zaun, C3000001 .237
Russ Adams, 3B3000001 .111
John McDonald, SS2000000 .256
   b- Lyle Overbay, PH-1B1000000 .257
a-struck out for Stairs in the 8th
b-flied out for McDonald in the 8th
2B - Matt Stairs (20, Loaiza), Frank Thomas (23, Embree)
HR - Aaron Hill (13, Loaiza)
RBI - Aaron Hill (64)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Hill-McDonald-Stairs, McDonald-Stairs, Burnett-McDonald-Stairs
E - Aaron Hill (12, Misplayed grounder), Matt Stairs (6, Missed catch of throw)
Toronto Blue Jays
A.J. Burnett (L,7-7) 7441391 3.85
Brian Wolfe 0.1100000 2.00
Scott Downs 0.2100010 2.23
Jason Frasor 1100010 4.14
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 102-66, Brian Wolfe 12-8, Scott Downs 10-8, Jason Frasor 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 9-2, Brian Wolfe 1-0, Scott Downs 1-0
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 27, Brian Wolfe 2, Scott Downs 3, Jason Frasor 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31145
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi