Blue Jays hold off Athletics after strong showings from Manoah, Gurriel Jr.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drilled a single and double, scored two runs and knocked in another in the Toronto Blue Jays scored 4-3 win in the rubber match against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
Toronto's Canadian closer Jordan Romano recorded three fly-ball outs in ninth inning for his Major League Baseball-leading sixth save and converted his 29th save opportunity in a row.
The win pushed the Blue Jays (6-4) to the top of the American League East standings and to their best start since winning six of the first 10 outings in 2018.
The Blue Jays scored a run in each of the first three innings for a 3-0 advantage off Athletics starter Adam Oller (0-1). He lasted only 3 1/3 innings.
A sacrifice fly to centre field from Gurriel knocked in leadoff hitter George Springer who reached base on an error from Oakland third baseman Sheldon Neuse for the game's first run.
In the second inning, a leadoff double from Zack Collins enabled the designated hitter to score on Santiago Espinal's single to centre.
With two out in the third inning, Gurriel smacked a double to left field, and he scored on Matt Chapman's single to left centre.
Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah (2-0) lasted six innings. He struck out six but saw his shutout streak to begin the season snapped at 10 innings when Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt smashed a homer to straightaway centre to lead off the fifth inning.
A Sean Murphy sacrifice fly brought in another Athletics (5-5) run later in the inning
Toronto got a run back in the bottom of the fifth when Gurriel singled and then scored on a throwing error from Oakland shortstop Kevin Smith.
The Athletics scored again in the eighth with a sacrifice fly from first baseman Seth Brown
Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who hit five homers in his first eight games, struck out three times.
BUCK'S BAD NEWS
Blue Jays veteran broadcaster Buck Martinez announced before the game he had been diagnosed with cancer. As a result, he will stop calling games for a while.
The 73-year-old former Blue Jays catcher and manager relayed his health news through Sportnet's Twitter account.
"I've been so honoured and privileged to have the support of Blue Jays fans, colleagues, staff and players since I arrived here in 1981, and that continued support through this next challenge means the world to me," Martinez said.
"I hope to rejoin my Sportsnet teammates for the stretch run later this season, but in the meantime, I will be watching from the sidelines as I fight the good fight."
Collins' double in the second inning increased the Blue Jays' double streak to 30 consecutive games, the team's longest streak since 31 straight from April 10 to May 12 in 2015.
Toronto has Monday off before beginning a three-game set at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. The Blue Jays' probable pitchers are lefty Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 5.40 ERA) in the opener, followed by right-handers Jose Berrios (0-0, 11.81) and Kevin Gausman (0-1, 4.22).
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