Langeliers' HR in 9th helps A's beat Blue Jays to snap 8-game skid
TORONTO (AP) — Shea Langeliers hit a tiebreaking home run in the ninth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Friday night to snap an eight-game losing streak.
Langeliers hit his ninth home run off Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano (3-3) as Toronto lost the opener of a three-game series against the team with the worst record in the majors.
“That’s a great win,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “We’ve lost quite a few one-run games. We talked about that prior to the game tonight with the group. Tonight is kind of a reflection of taking care of the details in the game.”
Oakland had five one-run losses in its eight-game skid. The Athletics are 12-16 in one-run games.
Langeliers went 2 for 4 with two RBIs as the Athletics (20-58) became the final big league team to reach 20 wins and avoided falling 40 games below .500.
Langeliers said he was “a little amped up” when he swung and missed at a high fastball on Romano’s first offering.
“From there I just focused on getting a pitch I could handle and just put my A-swing on it,” Langeliers said.
Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run home run, his first of the season at his home ballpark, but Toronto didn’t score again after his third-inning drive.
Lucas Erceg (2-0) struck out all three batters he faced to earn the win, and Trevor May pitched around Guerrero’s leadoff double in the ninth for his fourth save in six chances as Oakland won for the first time since June 13 against Tampa Bay. That win over the Rays was the last in a seven-game streak for the Athletics.
Guerrero’s 434-foot home run snapped a 32-game drought this season. He hadn’t gone deep anywhere since a June 4 blast at Citi Field in a win over the Mets, but didn’t seem too bothered about finally connecting in Toronto.
“A home run is a home run for me,” Guerrero said through a translator.
JJ Bleday hit his fifth home run and Langeliers had an RBI single as the Athletics jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first against Blue Jays right-hander Chris Bassitt. Oakland came in having scored three runs or fewer in seven of their previous eight games.
Toronto answered with a four-run third against Oakland right-hander James Kaprielian. Kevin Kiermaier got the Blue Jays on the board when his double drove in Danny Jansen. Two outs later, Guerrero capped the inning with his 10th homer.
Bleday tied it with a sacrifice fly in the fifth after Bassitt hit ninth-hitter Conner Capel with a pitch to begin the inning.
Bassitt, who spent six seasons with Oakland, allowed four runs and five hits against his former team, his third straight winless outing. He walked two and struck out four.
Bassitt has called his own pitches from the mound for much of this season, but let catcher Jansen take over after the shaky first.
“I think I’m done calling pitches,” Bassitt said, adding he believes it’s led to him thinking too much on the mound.
Kaprielian allowed four runs and six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out eight.
Athletics: Capel was recalled from Triple-A after Oakland put OF Ramón Laureano on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 22, because of a fractured right hand. Laureano was hit by a pitch in a June 11 game at Milwaukee, but Kotsay said X-rays did not reveal the fracture. After Laureano’s soreness persisted, an MRI revealed the injury.
Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette returned after sitting out Wednesday’s win at Miami because of a sore left thumb. It was the first game he missed this season.
Blue Jays manager John Schneider said RHP Alek Manoah is “trending in the right direction” following a simulated game at Toronto’s spring training facility in Florida, but added there is still no timetable for the struggling starter to rejoin the rotation. An AL All-Star and Cy Young Award finalist last season when he went 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA in 31 starts, Manoah was demoted to the rookie-level Florida Complex League on June 6 after going 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA in 13 starts.
RHP José Berríos (7-5, 3.64) starts for the Blue Jays on Saturday against Oakland LHP Hogan Harris (2-1, 4.45).