The Oakland Athletics have mastered the art of dramatic wins, prevailing in 15 innings for the second time in five days in Friday’s marathon 5-4 victory over theToronto Blue Jays. Oakland improved to 15-5 since the All-Star break with its 13th walk-off win of the season. The Athletics widened their lead atop the American League wild card standings to 1 1/2 games and remained 4 1/2 back of the division-leading Texas Rangers in the AL West.
Toronto needed an unexpected jolt to snap out of its losing streak and appeared to get just that when Jeff Mathis hit a tying three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning. The blast went for naught as the Blue Jays absorbed their season-high sixth consecutive loss. Compounding matters for Toronto was an injury to leadoff batter and 3B Brett Lawrie, who left Friday’s game in the first inning with ribcage tightness. Center fielder Colby Rasmus also went down with a groin ailment in the 12th inning. Both players are considered day-to-day.
Blue Jays Athletics Betting
When: 4:05 PM ET, Saturday, August 4, 2012
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, SN-1 (Toronto), CS California (Oakland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH Ricky Romero (8-8, 5.69 ERA) vs. Athletics RH A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.51)
Romero was 8-1 after winning at Miami on June 22, but he has lost a career-worst seven consecutive starts. Toronto has given Romero nothing to work with, getting blanked four straight times and plating one meager run in his last five starts. The left-hander is hardly blameless, though, giving up at least six runs on four occasions, including a 16-0 drubbing against Oakland on July 25.
Griffin earned a no-decision last time out despite pitching a career-high seven innings and giving up three runs to Kansas City. He won his previous three starts, striking out a career-best nine and limiting the Blue Jays to three hits in six scoreless innings. The 24-year-old rookie has worked at least six innings in each of his seven starts.
1. Athletics LF Yoenis Cespedes is expected to miss Saturday’s game with a sprained left wrist suffered in Friday’s game. He’s listed as day-to-day.
2. The Blue Jays haven’t lost seven consecutive games since dropping nine in a row from May 19-27, 2009.
3. 3B Brandon Inge has a 12-game hitting streak for Oakland, which became the first team in American League history to play two 15-inning games on the same homestand.