Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jays drop into tie for top spot

OAKLAND, Calif.—Toronto Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons used a clever replay challenge to help his ballclub score a run off Oakland Athletics’ starter Sonny Gray.
Good thing, too, because it was the only run the Jays managed.

Grey allowed four hits over seven innings to offset a second-straight strong outing by R.A. Dickey as Oakland beat Toronto 4-1 last night.
Dickey, who beat the A’s back on May 24 when he allowed just two runs over 8 1/3 innings in his best outing of the season, allowed two earned runs over eight innings last night but lost his fourth-straight start.
The knuckleballer struck out six and walked three.
“He pitched a great game. We just didn’t get anything going offensively,” Gibbons noted.
“They outplayed us, pure and simple.”
The loss dropped the Jays into a first-place tie with Baltimore in the AL East after the Orioles beat Texas 5-2 earlier.
It’s the first time since May 21 that Toronto has not held sole possession of top spot in the division.
The Jays nearly were shut out in the first stop on their 10-game road trip.
They hit into three double plays and didn’t get a runner past first base after the third inning.
Toronto’s only run came when Gibbons challenged a call in the second inning to have his own runner ruled out.
After the Jays loaded the bases against Gray with one out, Anthony Gose hit a grounder to Oakland first baseman Nate Freiman.
Freiman appeared to tag Munenori Kawasaki as he ran for second base, but umpire Vic Carapazza ruled Freiman missed the tag and Kawasaki was safe.
Freiman then threw to catcher Stephen Vogt, who stepped on home plate for a force-out with Edwin Encarnacion, the runner on third, approaching.
Gibbons requested the review, arguing that Kawasaki was out and that Encarnacion should be allowed to score because there would have been no force play at the plate.
After a delay of four minutes, 27 seconds, the call was overturned and the Jays were given a 1-0 lead.
“Replay’s a new dimension to this game and there’s going to be quirks and funny plays like this that happen,” said crew chief Bill Miller.
“What happened on the field was there was a tag, there was not a tag on the runner at home.”
Oakland manager Bob Melvin immediately came out to argue. The A’s played the rest of the game under protest.
It didn’t matter.
Freiman doubled in Brandon Moss in the bottom of the inning, then Vogt scored on a passed ball to put the A’s up 2-1.
Craig Gentry singled off Dickey (6-8) in the eighth and later scored on John Jaso’s double.
Alberto Callaspo’s sacrifice fly made it 4-1.
Dickey did not give up a home run for the first time in nine starts.
“I felt like I pitched well enough to keep us in it,” he said.
“You know you’re going to be in a dogfight when you’re out there [against Oakland], so it’s unfortunate that last inning got away from me.”
Vogt scored the winning run on a passed ball in the second inning and the A’s made it hold up behind Gray and two relievers.
Encarnacion singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
The Toronto slugger is batting .421 during that span.
Elsewhere in the AL, New York beat Minnesota 7-4, Detroit dumped Tampa Bay 8-1, and L.A. downed Houston 5-2.
Over in the NL, St. Louis beat San Francisco 7-2, Philadelphia edged Miami 5-4, Arizona dumped Pittsburgh 10-2, and L.A. nipped Colorado 3-2.

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