Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Buehrle pitches Blue Jays to 5-0 win over A’s

By Rick Eymer

OAKLAND — Mark Buehrle calls it luck. Manager John Gibbons calls it anything but luck. Either way, they’ll both take the outcome.

Buehrle allowed five hits over seven innings, Jose Bautista and Emilio Bonifacio each homered and the Toronto Blue Jays ended Oakland’s winning streak at four with a 5-0 victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night.

“The first three innings there were not too many quiet outs, Buehrle said. “That’s why it’s the whole luck thing. If I’, in a different ballpark, I might be out of the game by then.”

Colby Rasmus also drove in a run and Edwin Encarnacion had two hits as Toronto improved to 11-5 against the AL West.

Derek Norris and Jed Lowrie each had two hits for the A’s, who acquired third baseman Alberto Callaspo from the Angels for infielder Grant Green in a trade announced during the game. Callaspo was hitting .253 with five home runs and 36 RBIs entering Tuesday.

Buehrle (7-7) extended his scoreless innings streak to 20, did not walk a batter and struck out two. He retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced five days after tossing a two-hit shutout against the Houston Astros.

“He does everything right,” Gibbons said. “He’s ‘old reliable.’ He’s been around for a while and has had a tremendous career.”

Buehrle thought he had given up a home run to Coco Crisp, the game’s first batter. He also thought Josh Reddick got him in the third. Both balls died on the warning track.

“You still have to make your pitches and hit location and it is still a lot of luck,” said Buehrle, who has won at least 10 games in each of the last 12 years. “This is a tough place to hit at night.”

A’s manager Bob Melvin was impressed with Buehrle’s craftiness.

“We just couldn’t get anything going against Buehrle,” Melvin said. “Even though he doesn’t throw hard, he bullies the right-handers in with cutters and throws changeups, back-door breaking balls, and keeps you off balance.”

Dan Straily (6-5) lost his third straight decision, giving up five runs — two earned — on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.

“You saw some two-strike hits, which means he probably wasn’t as precise as he needs to be, especially when he’s ahead,” Melvin said. “Then he got some balls in the middle of the plate.”

Blue Jays right-hander Steve Delabar struck out the side in the eighth on nine pitches and leads all AL relievers with 70 strikeouts.

“You can’t get any more dominating than that,” Gibbons said. “You don’t see that too often.”

Bautista’s two-out home run in the first put Toronto on the board.

The Blue Jays added an unearned run in the fourth. Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Rasmus hit consecutive singles, with Yeonis Cespedes misplaying the ball in left field, allowing Encarnacion to score.

Bonifacio led off the fifth with a home run. Jose Reyes walked and Maicer Izturis was safe when Adam Rosales threw wildly. Reyes scored on the play. Rasmus added an RBI single.

The Blue Jays improved to 11-21 since their major league-best 11-game winning streak.

Darren Oliver pitched the ninth and went over the 1,900-inning mark for his career.

“He’s had a marvelous career that speaks for itself,” Gibbons said. “He’s a lot like Buehrle. They both keep answering the bell.”

The Associated Press

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