SPORTS

Blue Jays beat Athletics 6-5 behind Encarnacion, Escobar to secure 4-game split

08/05/2012 08:04 EDT | Updated 10/05/2012 05:12 EDT
OAKLAND, Calif. - The Toronto Blue Jays took some momentum away from the surprising Oakland Athletics.

Edwin Encarnacion had a two-run homer and a double, Yunel Escobar also drove in two runs and the Blue Jays beat the A's 6-5 Sunday for a four-game split.

"We put together a good game," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We were able to exploit the speed that both guys have at the top."

Josh Reddick hit a three-run home run for the A's, who are 2-3 in August after going 19-5 in July. Coco Crisp and Derek Norris each doubled home a run for the A's.

Tommy Milone (9-9) lost his third straight start and is 1-3 in his last seven.

"Something is just a little off in my delivery and the ball is sailing up in the zone," Milone said. "I couldn't get that one pitch I needed."

Despite playing without heavy hitter Jose Bautista, power-hitting catcher J.P. Arencibia and designated hitter Adam Lind, all on the 15-day disabled list, Toronto found some offence from elsewhere in the roster.

Anthony Gose and Kelly Johnson also drove in runs for the Blue Jays, who have won two straight after a six-game losing streak.

The Jays had dropped two in a row in Oakland, including a 5-4 defeat in a 15-inning marathon on Friday night, but rebounded to leave town with a split. The team is 2-5 with three games left on a 10-game road trip.

Aaron Laffey (3-2) won for the third time in four decisions after allowing four runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out four.

Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 14th consecutive save.

Toronto had its best offensive output in 10 games. The Blue Jays averaged just under two runs a game in their previous eight.

Rajai Davis scored from second base on a sacrifice bunt from Gose to put the Blue Jays ahead in the first. Davis doubled to open the game and was already at third base by the time Norris was just getting rid of the ball from Gose's bunt.

"I wish I could say we practiced that, but we didn't," Gose said. "Rajai was on the move and I should have taken the pitch and let him steal a base, but I put the bunt down and heads up base running made things happen."

Norris' double in the second scored Brandon Inge with the tying run, and Reddick's three-run drive into the right-field bleachers put the A's ahead 4-1 in the third.

"A couple of plays here and there cost us," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Encarnacion's 29th home run closed the gap to 4-3 in the fourth, and Toronto took the lead in the fifth when five hitters reached with two outs. Escobar's two-run single put the Jays up 5-4 and Johnson added an RBI single was Toronto went ahead for good in a three-run inning.

"We have been struggling the past couple of games," Encarnacion said. "That homer gave everybody a little more emotion and everybody started hitting better."

Adam Rosales doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on Crisp's double to make it 6-5. But Aaron Loup, Steven Delabar and Janssen combined for two hitless inning to clinch the win.

NOTES: A's RHP A.J. Griffin went on the DL with a strained right shoulder. ... Oakland OF Michael Taylor was optioned to Triple-A. ... The A's recalled left-hander Pedro Figueroa and right-hander Evan Scribner from Sacramento. ... Blue Jays RHP Carlos Villanueva left the team for personal reasons. Toronto RHP Jesse Chavez was optioned to Triple-A. ... LHP J.A. Happ will move up to start Tuesday's game for the Blue Jays. ... Toronto also selected RHP Chad Jenkins from Double-A New Hampshire. ... The A's are 14-6 in one-run games at home.

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