OAKLAND -- Edwin Encarnacion's two-run homer and Yunel Escobar's two-run single were instrumental in the Toronto Blue Jays' 6-5 win on Sunday to split their four-game series against the Oakland Athletics.
Aaron Laffey pitched six innings, allowed six hits and four runs for the win.
With the Jays up 6-4 in the seventh inning, the A's cut the Blue Jays lead to one. Adam Rosales hit a one-out double to left. Coco Crisp doubled to right, bringing in the A's first run since the third inning. Jonny Gomes failed to tie the game, and struck out swinging to end the inning.
In the ninth, the A's nearly rallied for another potential walkoff win. After a long at-bat, Derek Norris struck out. Brandon Moss walked. With pinch-runner Eric Sogard representing the tying run, Jemile Weeks hit a hard line drive but it was right at third baseman Yan Gomes, who then doubled Sogard off first base to end the game.
In the first inning, Rajai Davis led off the contest with a double to left. On a sacrifice-bunt executed to perfection by Anthony Gose, the fleet-footed Rajai Davis scored all the way from second base. It was a daring baserunning play, but Davis never broke stride.
The aggressive baserunning by the Blue Jays carried over to the second inning. After Kelly Johnson was hit by a pitch, he tried to steal second but was thrown out on an accurate throw by Norris.
With two outs in the second, the A's Brandon Inge singled to center. Norris followed with a line drive double to left-center bringing home Inge to tie the game 1-1.
Weeks walked to lead off the frame. Gomes laced a single to left center. Josh Reddick, the most consistent run producer had been in a slump, going 0-for-21 prior to this series. But with two men on base he increased his team-leading RBI total to 56 with a high arching drive into the right field seats for a 4-1 A's lead.
Toronto answered back in the fourth inning. After a bloop single to left by Gose, Encarnacion unloaded with a blast to left-center.
Coco Crisp tried to scale the wall but the ball was well out of reach.
Down by a run, the Blue Jays had Johnson on first with only one out, but Jeff Mathis popped out to first and rookie Yan Gomes struck out swinging.
Tommy Milone has been nearly lights out at home but struggled in his last outing at the Coliseum against Tampa Bay. He got into a big jam in the fifth. After two outs with nobody on, Davis hit a pop up to short. Due to the bright blue sky, Adam Rosales lost sight of the ball and it dropped in for an infield single.
That hit would open the door for Toronto to score three runs. Gose kept the inning alive with a line drive double to left. With runners at second and third, the A's intentionally walked Encarnacion. Escobar fell behind in the count, but on a 1-2 pitch, Escobar singled between third and short, scoring the go-ahead run. Johnson gave the Blue Jays a two-run edge with an RBI single to left.
After the third inning, the A's had only one runner reach second base, on a double to left by Gomes. That changed once Laffey came out of the game after six innings.
NOTES: Toronto has now won two straight following a season-high six-game losing streak. ... The Athletics placed RHP A.J. Griffin on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder and recalled LHP Pedro Figueroa from Triple-A Sacramento. It is already the fourth time this season that Figueroa has been recalled. Oakland also optioned Michael Taylor to Sacramento and recalled RHP Evan Scribner in his third stint with the A's in 2012.