OAKLAND, Calif.—Back when he played here, Josh Donaldson watched many a hard-hit ball get halted by the wind at the Oakland Coliseum short of going over the outfield fences.
So he didn't want to count on his 10th-inning drive going far enough.
It had plenty on it, and it still feels plenty sweet to make an impact where he began his big-league career in 2010—even in a different uniform.
Donaldson hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the 10th against his former club, and Justin Smoak also homered in the inning for his second long ball of the day, as the Toronto Blue Jays avoided a sweep by topping the Athletics 7-5 yesterday afternoon.
“Any home run's nice," Donaldson said. ”The fact of the matter the situation it was in, to be able to come through for my team like that, with the circumstances, I was able to do that a few times when I played here, too.
“It was nice to kind of be able to come back and hit one in a timely situation.”
Frankie Montas (1-1) plunked Kevin Pillar to start the inning and bring up Donaldson, who clobbered a 1-2 fastball and hit a high drive clearing the wall in left-centre.
Liam Hendriks tossed two perfect innings over the eighth and ninth with three strikeouts for the A's, but Montas couldn't hold down Donaldson.
After drawing three walks, the 2015 AL MVP hit his seventh homer of the season as he plays catch up after missing time with a calf injury.
“I hit it pretty well," Donaldson noted. "I didn't know because how high that I hit the ball, I've hit many balls in this stadium that were like that and kind of got knocked down by the wind and the air.”
Ryan Tepera (4-1) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the win while Roberto Osuna finished for his 14th save.
Pillar hit a three-run homer in the second after Smoak's solo shot earlier in the inning.
Chad Pinder's sacrifice fly in the fifth following a lead-off triple by Rajai Davis tied the game at 4-4.
Davis also doubled twice and matched his career high with four hits, doing it for the 10th time but first since last July 2 at Toronto while with Cleveland.
“I'm just hoping that that's the beginning of something that will continue,” he said.
Smoak homered three times in the series to bring his season total to 17, also leading off the second yesterday against A's right-hander Jharel Cotton.
That came after Oakland went ahead in the bottom of the first on Khris Davis' RBI double.
Cotton made his first career start against Toronto but still is waiting for his first win since being recalled from the minors on May 27.
He allowed four runs and four hits in six innings while striking out four and walking four.
Trevor Plouffe's lead-off homer in the fourth for Oakland snapped a career-worst 0-for-25 hitting slump—a fourth homer in eight lifetime at-bats facing Toronto starter Francisco Liriano.
The Jays' lefty struck out five and walked one in five innings, allowing three earned runs and six hits.
Elsewhere in the AL, Seattle topped Minnesota 6-5, New York dumped Boston 8-0, Detroit blanked L.A. 4-0, Tampa Bay beat Chicago 3-1, and Kansas City upended Houston 7-5.
Over in the NL, L.A. nipped Washington 2-1, Cincinnati beat St. Louis 6-4, Atlanta bombed Philadelphia 14-1, Miami topped Chicago 6-5, Milwaukee doubled San Francisco 6-3, and Arizona downed San Diego 7-4.
Colorado dumped Cleveland 8-1, Baltimore beat Pittsburgh 9-6 (11 innings), and the N.Y. Mets edged Texas 4-3 in interleague play.