|Oakland (4-4) «||1||5||0||0||0||2||0||0||1||9||13||2|
TORONTO -- Mike Sweeney tries to make a good impression on his young Oakland teammates with hard play.
On Tuesday night, Sweeney fired up the Athletics with a hard slide in the sixth inning, and Oakland went on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-8 behind Ryan Sweeney's RBI triple in the ninth. Kurt Suzuki singled up the middle off right-hander Jeremy Accardo (0-1) with two outs in the ninth and Ryan Sweeney followed with his big hit. He finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Oakland scored twice in the sixth when Jack Cust hit a bases-loaded fielder's choice grounder. Lyle Overbay forced out Mike Sweeney at second, but Sweeney's slide pressured shortstop David Eckstein into making a throwing error that allowed Daric Barton to score.
"That's what us older guys have to do here," Mike Sweeney said. "It's the little things. Playing the game hard, running out groundballs, moving guys over, trying to break up a double play.
"That may or may not have helped us win the game tonight but it set the tone for our team," he said. "With so many young guys, we have to have high intensity every play of the game."
Oakland manager Bob Geren praised Sweeney's leadership.
"He plays the game hard and he plays the game right," Geren said. "He broke up two the clean way. When you put pressure on the defense in lots of different ways, that's the right way to play."
Oakland blew leads of 6-3 and 8-6, but still picked up the win.
"Every time they came back, we just wanted to go back ahead again," Ryan Sweeney said. "We're not going to give up until the game is over."
Outfielder Travis Buck ended an 0-for-22 slump in the second with an RBI double, his first career hit. Buck said Oakland's veterans are teaching valuable lessons.
"We have so many new guys and we're really young," Buck said. "We don't have that much experience. The guys that have a lot of experience, that's how they play. By us young guys watching them, it makes us that much more excited to work as hard as they do."
Huston Street worked the ninth for his first save.
Oakland right-hander Chad Gaudin was activated off the disabled list before the game to start in place of Rich Harden, who was pushed back because of a strained muscle in his upper arm. Gaudin allowed six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out two.
The Athletics roughed up Toronto starter A.J. Burnett with five runs in the second. Suzuki, Ryan Sweeney, Buck, Mark Ellis and Barton all drove in runs as Oakland opened a 6-3 lead.
Burnett, who pitched six strong innings to beat the Yankees in New York on April 2, was not sharp in this one, allowing six runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out one.
"It wasn't me tonight and I can't allow that to happen," Burnett said. "It's my loss tonight. It sucks that it's going to go down as a team loss because if it wasn't for me out there we would have hung in there a lot better than we did."
Toronto's Aaron Hill matched a career high with four hits -- including a two-run homer in the fourth inning. It was the seventh time in Hill's career that he had four hits.
Vernon Wells, who hit a three-run homer in the third for Toronto, excused Burnett for his poor performance.
"There's not going to be too many times where we have to bail those guys out," Wells said. "We did what we could and tried to get back in it."
|A.J. Burnett has a difficult outing in his second start, giving up six earned runs and 10 hits in 4.2 innings. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Travis Buck, RF||6||2||2||1||0||0||1||.074|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||5||1||2||1||0||0||1||.161|
|Daric Barton, 1B||2||2||1||1||2||1||1||.250|
|Mike Sweeney, DH||3||0||1||1||2||0||1||.227|
|Jack Cust, LF||5||0||0||1||0||0||3||.130|
|Emil Brown, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.217|
|Bobby Crosby, SS||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.258|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||3||1||1||0||2||2||0||.240|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||5||1||3||1||0||0||0||.414|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF||5||1||2||2||0||1||4||.438|
|2B - Travis Buck (1, Burnett), Mark Ellis (1, Burnett), Mike Sweeney (1, Burnett), Ryan Sweeney (1, Burnett)|
|3B - Mark Ellis (1, Burnett), Ryan Sweeney (1, Accardo)|
|SF - Daric Barton (1)|
|RBI - Travis Buck (2), Mark Ellis (5), Daric Barton (1), Mike Sweeney (1), Jack Cust (4), Kurt Suzuki (2), Ryan Sweeney 2 (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Sweeney (1), Ryan Sweeney (1)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Ellis-Crosby-Barton, Ellis-Crosby-Barton|
|E - Chad Gaudin (1, Throwing), Jack Hannahan (1, Throwing)|
|Keith Foulke (H,4)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.50|
|Alan Embree (BS,1; W,1-1)||1||3||2||2||0||1||1||5.40|
|Huston Street (S,1)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||9.64|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chad Gaudin 76-52, Andrew Brown 27-17, Keith Foulke 7-5, Alan Embree 20-12, Huston Street 16-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Gaudin 5-3, Andrew Brown 1-4, Keith Foulke 2-1, Alan Embree 1-1, Huston Street 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Chad Gaudin 20, Andrew Brown 7, Keith Foulke 3, Alan Embree 6, Huston Street 4|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|David Eckstein, SS||5||0||1||1||0||0||0||.231|
|Matt Stairs, LF||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.188|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||1||1||0||1||1||0||.348|
|Vernon Wells, CF||5||2||2||3||0||2||1||.308|
|Frank Thomas, DH||4||1||1||2||0||1||0||.240|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||2||0||.296|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||4||1||4||2||0||0||0||.444|
|Marco Scutaro, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||0||4||.150|
|Gregg Zaun, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.188|
|a- Shannon Stewart, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|Rod Barajas, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|a-grounded out for Zaun in the 8th|
|2B - Vernon Wells (1, Embree)|
|HR - Vernon Wells (3, Gaudin), Frank Thomas (3, Embree), Aaron Hill (1, Gaudin)|
|RBI - David Eckstein (6), Vernon Wells 3 (8), Frank Thomas 2 (10), Aaron Hill 2 (5)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - David Eckstein (1, Throwing)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Jeremy Accardo (L,0-1)||1||2||1||1||0||1||0||2.25|
|WP - A.J. Burnett (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 92-58, Brian Tallet 25-14, Brian Wolfe 19-12, Brandon League 22-11, Jeremy Accardo 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 10-3, Brian Tallet 2-1, Brian Wolfe 1-1, Brandon League 1-2, Jeremy Accardo 1-1|
|Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 26, Brian Tallet 6, Brian Wolfe 4, Brandon League 5, Jeremy Accardo 5|
|Attendance - 31336|
|Game Time - 3:16|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Brian O'Nora|