Mench, Blue Jays beat Athletics 4-3 in ninth
TORONTO (AP)—Huston Street sat slumped at his locker, his head in his hands, as if dreading the sleepless night that lay ahead.
Street surrendered Kevin Mench’s game-winning single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays extended the Athletics’ season-long losing streak to eight games, beating Oakland 4-3 on Tuesday night.
“I’m frustrated with myself more than anything,” said Street, who is 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA and four blown saves in his past 16 games.
“When you have a chance to win and you don’t win, it’s always frustrating,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “We’ve had a rough week. It would have been a big one to win and get us going.”
Street (2-5) has blown six save opportunities overall and has the lowest save percentage of any American League closer.
“Even though this was a horrible outing and poor timing as far as everything that’s going on with the team and this streak and me personally, my situation as the team’s closer, we’ve got to put it behind us,” Street said.
“I’ve got to put it behind myself. It’s going to be difficult sleeping tonight, no doubt, but when I wake up in the morning, it’s over, and that’s how I’m going to approach it.”
Bobby Crosby, who drove in two runs, said the late defeat stung worse than usual.
“It seems like we’re scratching any way we can to try and get a win,” Crosby said. “To lose like that is tough.”
Carlos Gonzalez had a career-high four hits for the Athletics, who have dropped six straight road games and are a major league worst 2-15 since the All-Star break.
Street came into the game a perfect 3-for-3 in save situations against Toronto this season, allowing just one hit in three shutout innings, but couldn’t get the job done in this one.
Jesse Carlson (4-1) got two outs to earn the victory.
Ziegler worked two shutout innings, extending his scoreless innings streak to 34. It’s the longest scoreless streak to begin a career in modern major league history (since 1900), and just four inning shy of the Oakland team record of 37 scoreless innings, set by Mike Torres in 1976.
“He just continues to be amazing,” Geren said. “He’s been outstanding.”
The Athletics took a 1-0 lead in the second when Gonzalez doubled and scored on a single by Mark Ellis, but Toronto tied it in the bottom half when Barajas singled and came around on Lind’s triple.
A two-out, two-run triple by Crosby gave Oakland a 3-1 lead in the fourth, but Toronto got one back in the fifth on Marco Scutaro’s RBI single.
Seeking an insurance run, Oakland loaded the bases against reliever Brandon League with nobody out in the eighth, but came up empty when shortstop John McDonald made a diving catch on Ellis’ liner, then threw from his knees to double up pinch runner Emil Brown off second base. Jack Hannahan ended the inning by grounding out.
“That was a base-running mistake that cost us an out,” Geren said of Brown’s miscue.
Oakland left-hander Greg Smith allowed two runs and four hits in six innings.
Making his second start of the season, Blue Jays right-hander Scott Richmond allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Oakland’s Jack Cust made the defensive play of the game, leaping against the wall in left to snare a liner from Barajas for the final out of the sixth.
LHP Gio Gonzalez will make his major league debut for the Athletics on Wednesday, while RHP Justin Duchscherer will get an extra day of rest and start the series finale on Thursday. Duchscherer is 0-2 with a 5.21 ERA in his last three starts. … Toronto INF Joe Inglett (left knee) missed his second straight game. “He’s still a little sore but he’s feeling better,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.