OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Josh Towers put on another good performance for his family.
Pitching in front of relatives who made the drive from Port Hueneme, he worked into the eighth inning Monday night to help Toronto to a 5-3 win over the A’s.
It was his second win over Oakland at the Coliseum this season, where the Jays are 0-3 in games he doesn’t start.
“Every team seems to have a pitcher they struggle against and ours seems to be Towers,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “He pitched well against us the last time they were here, too.”
Towers (4-3) pitched Toronto to a 6-1 win in Oakland on June 4.
“I can’t really explain why I pitch so well here,” Towers said. “This is a pitcher’s park with a lot of foul territory. And maybe it’s because my family was here.”
Towers’ family drives from to games he works in California, even the approximately six-hour one to Oakland. In front of them Monday night, he gave up two runs in the third inning, then shut down the A’s as the Blue Jays snapped their season-high six-game losing streak. He was replaced by Kerry Ligtenberg after allowing a one-out double to Eric Chavez in the eighth.
Towers gave up seven hits and struck out five. He also hit two batters in winning his second straight start.
The Blue Jays scored four runs in the fourth inning off Kirk Saarloos, who hadn’t allowed an earned run in his other two starts this season and had a streak of 14 2-3 scoreless innings until Toronto broke loose.
Vernon Wells led off the fourth with his 10th homer. One out later, Gregg Zaun doubled. After Alexis Rios singled, Chris Gomez had a run-scoring hit to tie it 2-2. Orlando Hudson and Reed Johnson each added RBI singles to make it 4-2. Saarloos was removed after Johnson’s hit.
“I felt like I was one pitch away from getting out of the inning,” Saarloos said. “I just left too many balls over the plate.”
Saarloos (1-1) allowed eight hits and four runs in 3 2-3 innings. Macha said he was “95 percent sure,” Saarloos would make his next scheduled start while waiting for Tim Hudson’s pulled stomach muscle to heal.
Blue Jays RHP Roy Halladay will be out four to six weeks with a tired shoulder. … Toronto OF Frank Catalonatto, on the DL since June 18 with a strained right groin, should be activated in the next two days. … Oakland LHP Chris Hammond will pitch the first inning Tuesday night for Triple-A Sacramento in a rehab outing. Hammond has out since June 12 with a strained left shoulder. … The A’s signed their two first round draft choices—C Landon Powell from the South Carolina and OF Richie Robnett of Fresno State.