TORONTO (CBS / AP) — Liam Hendriks won his season debut, Steve Tolleson hit a two-run home run and the Toronto Blue Jays were victorious for the ninth time in 11 games with a 3-2 defeat of the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
Brandon Moss homered for the seventh time in 18 games for the Athletics, who lost their second straight following a five-game winning streak. Oakland’s loss was just its third in the past 14 games overall.
Toronto evened its home record at 11-11 and beat Oakland for the fourth time in 12 meetings north of the border.
Promoted from Triple-A to face the Athletics, who came in with the best record in the majors, Hendriks (1-0) allowed one run and three hits in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander walked three and struck out three.
Aaron Loup pitched 1 1-3 innings, Steve Delabar got one out in the eighth and Brett Cecil got the final two, striking out Derek Norris to strand runners at first and second.
Casey Janssen finished for his sixth save in six chances, stranding Coco Crisp at third as Jed Lowrie grounded out.
Tolleson hit Toronto’s ML-leading 68th home run when he connected off left-hander Scott Kazmir (5-2) in the second, his first of the year. The drive also scored Brett Lawrie, who reached on a fielder’s choice.
A throwing error by Kazmir helped the Blue Jays extend their lead in the third. Kevin Pillar hit a leadoff double and went to third when Kazmir wheeled and made a pickoff attempt even though no one was covering the base. Jose Reyes followed with an RBI grounder.
Kazmir allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out two.
Oakland used a single, a hit batter and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Hendriks got Lowrie to fly out to the warning track.
Josh Donaldson walked to open the sixth and Moss followed with a fly ball to the warning track. After Donaldson was erased on a fielder’s choice grounder by Yoenis Cespedes, Loup came on and retired Josh Reddick on a diving stop by first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.
Pinch-hitting for Reddick, Alberto Callaspo cut it to 3-2 with a two-out RBI single in the eighth, but Cecil fanned Norris to keep the Blue Jays ahead.
Moss had homered in the fourth inning to make it 3-1.
NOTES: Oakland’s ML-best road record dropped to 18-8. … Bench coach Chip Hale managed the Athletics while Bob Melvin attended his daughter’s college graduation in New York City. Melvin will rejoin the team Saturday. … Toronto designated RH Esmil Rogers for assignment to clear a spot for Hendriks. … Oakland’s John Jaso was scratched from the starting lineup after complaining of soreness following three games on Tampa Bay’s artificial turf. Jaso is scheduled to catch Saturday. Kyle Blanks replaced Jaso at DH. … Toronto RH R.A. Dickey (4-4) faces Athletics RH Jesse Chavez (4-1) on Saturday.
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