Left-hander Cole Irvin limited Toronto to one run in a career-best eight innings and Mitch Moreland capped a four-run second inning with a two-run home run Tuesday night, lifting the Oakland Athletics to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Blue Jays.
Joe Lowrie doubled in two runs and scored a third for the A’s, who have opened a four-game home series against the Blue Jays with consecutive wins.
Former A’s standout Marcus Semien drove in the only run of the game for Toronto, which had won three in a row before heading west for a 10-game trip.
Considered to be nothing more than an injury replacement in the starting rotation to begin the season, Irvin (3-3) made his fourth consecutive strong start. He checked the potent Toronto attack on three hits over his eight innings, walking one and striking out nine.
The eight-inning performance in just his ninth career start was one more than he’d thrown in his previous longest outing for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019, and two innings longer than the six he’d thrown for the A’s in two of his previous three games.
The A’s gave their pitcher a nice cushion with the four-run second against Toronto left-hander Anthony Kay (0-2), who was making his second start of the season.
Sean Murphy and Matt Chapman opened the second with singles, after which Lowrie lashed his double to right field, scoring both baserunners.
Moreland followed with his two-run homer, his fourth of the season, for a 4-0 lead.
The consecutive extra-base hits were the only two the A’s collected in the game and two of just three for the two teams combined.
Toronto’s extra-base hit produced its only run when Semien, who left the A’s as a free agent over the winter, belted a double to left-center field with two outs in the sixth inning, scoring Santiago Espinal, who had singled.
Irvin retired seven of the next eight men he faced to complete his eight innings before handing the ball to Yusmeiro Petit, who recorded his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Kay went four innings, charged with four runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.
The game featured just nine hits. Lowrie had two of them, including his ninth double of the season.
–Field Level Media