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Oakland at Toronto

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Toronto (10-4) «01000000x151

Jays' Romero, two relievers blank visiting A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Ricky Romero received some heady praise after shutting down the Oakland Athletics.

Romero had a career-high six strikeouts in seven sharp innings to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 1-0 victory Sunday. The left-hander yielded four hits and lowered his ERA to 1.71, prompting Oakland slugger Jack Cust to compare him to New York Mets ace Johan Santana.

 Athletics: Chavez returns to lineup

"He's got a bright future," Cust said. "He reminds me of Santana a little bit, his body and his mannerisms, the way he throws. Santana's got those broad shoulders like he's got. He's similar, he's got a similar arm slot, similar delivery. He's going to be good."

Cust struck out twice in three at-bats against Romero (2-0) and finished 0-for-4, failing to reach safely for the first time in 40 games dating to last season.

Romero was drafted sixth overall in 2005 but didn't reach the major leagues until this season, winning a spot in Toronto's rotation after a strong finish to spring training.

"Deep, deep inside me I knew what I could do this whole time," Romero said. "This ain't no surprise to me. I know there's going to be bumps along the road, but I feel at this point it's all about getting better."

Scott Downs worked a perfect eighth and B.J. Ryan finished for his second save in three chances.

Lyle Overbay singled in Kevin Millar in the second inning for the only run of the game.

Dallas Braden (1-2) gave up one run and five hits in a career-high 7 1/3 innings for Oakland.

The Athletics have been shut out three times this season and have scored an AL-low 47 runs.

"It's kind of the reverse of what we anticipated," manager Bob Geren said. "We anticipated scoring a lot of runs and trying to get this young pitching through it. We're actually doing just the opposite right now."

Braden doesn't expect Oakland's drought to last long.

"We have a lineup full of Great White sharks," Braden said. "If they smell blood it's going to be on and cracking. We've just got to get that first cut. I don't foresee anybody licking their lips when they face this lineup."

The A's nearly tied it in the third but Mark Ellis was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Ryan Sweeney's double to right-center. Vernon Wells threw to second baseman Aaron Hill, whose relay to catcher Raul Chavez arrived well ahead of Ellis.

Ellis might have scored had he not slowed down approaching second base.

"With one out, I was making sure I didn't get doubled up," he said. "If I had known it was going to go as far as it did, I would have kept on going."

Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez returned to the lineup after missing five games with a sore right shoulder. Chavez batted sixth and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

"Hopefully this last episode with the shoulder is behind him now and he'll start swinging the bat," Geren said.

Ryan struggled with his velocity during spring training and got off to a rough start this season, blowing a save against Detroit on April 7 and yielding three runs in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory at Cleveland on April 11. He earned his first save at Minnesota last Monday and pitched a scoreless inning against Oakland on Saturday.

Ryan looked comfortable again Sunday, pitching around a Matt Holliday single to close it out.

"He's throwing the ball good," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "It looks like he's elevating the ball a little to throw some strikes instead of being so down in the strike zone."

Millar walked, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Overbay's single to center in the second.

Notes

  • Toronto SS Marco Scutaro made a diving catch on Cust's liner in the second.
  • Every Toronto batter reached base once except LF Travis Snider.
  • The Blue Jays have won eight of their past nine games against the Athletics.
  • Oakland INF Nomar Garciaparra (right calf) sat for the second day in a row and has missed three of the past four games.
  • Oakland starters are a combined 1-5 this season.
 
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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Ricky Romero improves to 2-0, yielding just four hits over seven scoreless innings.  (AP)
Ricky Romero improves to 2-0, yielding just four hits over seven scoreless innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

R. Romero
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 2
K 6
Oakland

D. Braden
IP 7.1
H 5
ER 1
BB 3
K 4
 
Oakland Athletics
Ryan Sweeney, CF4010012 .250
Orlando Cabrera, SS4000001 .234
Jason Giambi, DH4000000 .227
Matt Holliday, LF4020021 .267
Jack Cust, RF4000032 .286
Eric Chavez, 3B4000011 .125
Kurt Suzuki, C2010110 .267
Mark Ellis, 2B3010002 .238
Landon Powell, 1B2000111 .222
Totals3105029  
Batting
2B - Ryan Sweeney (3, R. Romero)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Ellis-Cabrera-Powell, Chavez-Ellis-Powell
E - Orlando Cabrera (1, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
Dallas Braden (L,1-2) 7.1511340 2.79
Russ Springer 0.2000010 0.00
WP - Dallas Braden (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Braden 97-59, Russ Springer 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Braden 5-12
Batters Faced - Dallas Braden 29, Russ Springer 2
Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS4000010 .283
Aaron Hill, 2B3010100 .365
Alex Rios, RF4010003 .207
Vernon Wells, CF3000114 .293
Kevin Millar, DH2100103 .273
Scott Rolen, 3B3010001 .326
Lyle Overbay, 1B3011011 .294
Raul Chavez, C3010002 .333
Travis Snider, LF3000022 .290
Totals2815135  
Batting
RBI - Lyle Overbay (9)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Vernon Wells 1
DP - Hill-Scutaro-Overbay
E - Alex Rios (1, Dropped line drive)
Toronto Blue Jays
Ricky Romero (W,2-0) 7400260 1.71
Scott Downs (H,3) 1000020 0.00
B.J. Ryan (S,2) 1100010 7.71
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Romero 106-67, Scott Downs 11-8, B.J. Ryan 16-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Romero 6-8, Scott Downs 1-0, B.J. Ryan 2-0
Batters Faced - Ricky Romero 26, Scott Downs 3, B.J. Ryan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22164
Game Time - 2:19
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Greg Gibson