Blue Jays 4, Athletics 3
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Alex Rios shrugged as he pulled his polo shirt over his head and smiled weakly.
He wasn’t going to analyze why he was able to return from the disabled list with such a bang.
“I felt pretty good; I don’t know why,” Rios said after driving in two runs in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night. “It’s great to come back and help the team win.”
Rios, who missed 26 games with a staph infection, had his rehab assignment cut short because of rain on Thursday night and didn’t feel like he got enough at bats.
“I did take BP but I would have liked a few more (at bats),” he said. “It was OK.”
After flying out in his first plate appearance, Rios singled in runs his next two trips.
“You never know how a guy will come back,” Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons said. “Just having him out on the field gave us a good look. He didn’t miss a beat.”
B.J. Ryan recorded a two-inning save, the 10th time he’s gotten one pitching more than an inning.
Ryan started the eighth inning for Toronto and loaded the bases on two singles and a one-out intentional walk. The hard-throwing closer got Mark Ellis to ground into a double play and worked a hitless ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances.
“We were a little short-handed in the bullpen and B.J. had enough rest,” Gibbons said. “This was a game I thought we needed to have and that was kind of a turning point.”
Frank Thomas cut the lead to 4-3 for Oakland with his 471st career home run, a solo shot in the sixth off relief pitcher Scott Downs (5-1). Thomas is four homers shy of Willie Stargell and Stan Musial for 23rd all-time.
“That’s probably the longest one (I hit in Oakland),” Thomas said. “I knew he had to pitch. He didn’t want to put any runners on the basepaths.”
Ryan got Thomas to fly out to center field to end the game with a runner on.
“I love being up there in those situations,” Thomas said. “(Ryan) got a little crafty there. He pitches in a rhythm that is tough to time.
” You can’t sit back on him because he’ll jump at you with the slider.”
Ellis added two RBIs as the A’s lost their fourth game in the last six and fell a half game behind first-place Los Angeles in the AL West.
Oakland starter Esteban Loaiza (4-7) failed to last six innings for his fifth straight start. After giving up four runs on eight hits, he now has a 7.40 ERA (20 runs in 24 1-3 innings) over that span. Loaiza walked two and struck out three.
“A couple of mistakes and that’s what happens,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “They turn it over to their bullpen and they got the outs.”
Toronto starter Shaun Marcum lasted 4 2-3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits in his third career start.
A’s reliever Kiko Calero pitched 1 1-3 shutout innings and has allowed one run in his last 24 innings.
Rios gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the fourth with a single to score Troy Glaus, who doubled to lead off the inning. Rios went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Ellis put the A’s on top with his two-run single in the sixth. Nick Swisher singled and Eric Chavez doubled to start the rally. Chavez recorded just his third extra-base hit in July but extended his hitting streak to six games after recording six hits in his previous 14 games.
A three-run rally in the sixth gave the Blue Jays a 4-2 edge and ended Loaiza’s night early for the fifth straight start. Rios and John McDonald singled home runs and Vernon Wells, who singled to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games, scored when Milton Bradley misplayed Glaus’ single.
A power outage at the Coliseum during the bottom of the fourth inning caused a 15-minute delay and knocked KICU off the air for a half-hour. The outage was caused when a vehicle hit a power pole just north of the Coliseum and affected the entire grid. … The As recalled RHP Shane Komine from Triple-A Sacramento and hell make his major league debut in Sundays finale. … Speier has 25 strikeouts in his last 17 innings. … Wells is 22-for-55 (.400) during his streak. … Chavez tied an Oakland with his 59th consecutive errorless game at third base. … The Blue Jays are 11-4 in one-run games.