Ramon Laureano broke a fifth-inning tie with a two-run home run and the host Oakland Athletics opened a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 5-4 victory on Monday night.
Stephen Piscotty also homered for Oakland, which won its second in a row after opening a 10-game homestand with back-to-back losses to the Baltimore Orioles.
Three Oakland relievers combined to limit Toronto one run over the final three innings.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. collected a double and two singles for Toronto, which saw a three-game winning streak come to an end in the opener of a 10-game trip.
After the teams traded early three-run uprisings, Tony Kemp opened the Oakland fifth against Blue Jays starter Steven Matz (4-2) with a walk.
One out later, Laureano smacked his third homer in the past three days and sixth of the season, a two-run shot to left-center field to give the A’s a lead they never relinquished.
Toronto got within 5-4 in the eighth on a Guerrero double, a Randal Grichuk single and a run-scoring wild pitch. However, A’s reliever Lou Trivino stranded the potential tying run at second base by retiring the final two batters of the inning.
Jake Diekman worked a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to pick up his third save.
Laureano’s homer came after the A’s had blown a 3-0 lead, with Toronto scoring three times in the third inning after Oakland had tallied three times in the second.
Back-to-back doubles by Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie off Matz opened the second for the A’s, producing a 1-0 lead. When Piscotty belted a two-run homer, his third of the season, Oakland was on top by three.
The advantage didn’t last long. The Blue Jays used singles by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Guerrero and Teoscar Hernandez in a six-batter span of the third inning off A’s starter Frankie Montas to pull even. Bichette (one) and Hernandez (two) drove in the runs.
Montas (3-2) went six innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He walked one and struck out four.
Matz was lifted after five innings, charged with five runs on seven hits. He walked one and fanned six.
Lowrie amassed three hits, while Laureano and Piscotty had two apiece for the A’s, who collected five of the game’s six extra-base hits.
–Field Level Media
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