Blue Jays vs. Athletics Game Recap - Apr. 28, 2019

Jamie Branje
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Sunday, April 28, 2019

TORONTO - Justin Smoak hit a walk-off single to push the Toronto Blue Jays over the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Sunday afternoon.


Brandon Drury hit a game-tying three-run home run in the bottom of the eleventh and Eric Sogard went three-for-six with a home run of his own to power the Blue Jays offence.


This win gave Toronto (14-14) a season sweep over the Athletics (14-16), a reversal of fortune after the A's swept the Jays in last season's series.


Khris Davis had two hits including a double and a run driven in for the A's, who fell despite a three-run top of the eleventh. 


Closer Blake Treinen entered with the game tied for Oakland in the bottom of the tenth with the top of the order due up. With one out Sogard struck for a double, but the Jays were unable to score him as the next two batters were retired. 


Stephen Piscotty opened the top of the eleventh with a walk against Thomas Pannone, and advanced to third on a single by Kendrys Morales. Ramon Laureano hit a deep fly ball to centre field, and Piscotty scored with the sacrifice fly. This gave Oakland their first lead of the game, 2-1. Josh Phegley hit a double off the wall in left field which scored another run to push the lead to two. 


The third run of the inning was scored when Elvis Luciano hit Chapman with his first pitch in relief of Pannone with the bases loaded. Davis hit a line drive to centre field that was caught by Grichuk to end the rough inning. 


The bottom of the eleventh started with a bang, as Rowdy Tellez hit a ball off the top of the fence in left field, which bounced back in to play for a double. Alen Hanson walked to follow, and Billy McKinney hit into a fielder's choice to leave runners on first and third with one out. 


This set the stage for Drury, who has been crushing the ball against Oakland this season, to hit a game-tying three-run home run to the opposite field - roughly the same spot as his walk-off home run on Friday. 


Freddy Galvis hit a deep ball off the wall in right field for a single, followed by a walk to Danny Jansen. Smoak squeezed a ball under the glove of the third baseman to drive in Galvis as the winning run. 


Elvis Luciano (1-0) earned his first big-league win in relief, having recorded the final out of the top of the eleventh inning.


Treinen (1-2) picked up a loss in this game, after a clean tenth he was unable to hold the three-run lead in the eleventh. He finished with one and 2/3rds innings pitched, and he allowed four earned runs on two walks and five hits to go with one strikeout. 


Pannone pitched on his 25th birthday in extra-inning work today, and almost had to take the loss if not for his offence waking up in the bottom half. He surrendered two earned runs in one and 2/3rds innings, with three walks and three hits allowed to go with two strikeouts. Walks were an issue throughout; Toronto pitching walked nine Oakland batters, two of which scored. 


Trent Thornton (0-2) pitched five innings for Toronto and only surrendered one earned run on two hits and five walks. He also struck out seven, but the high walk totals contributed to 103 pitches thrown in just five innings of work.


Chris Bassitt (0-0), in his second start of the season for Oakland, went seven innings, only allowing one hit - a home run - with nine strikeouts. His only mistake was the first batter of the game.


Joakim Soria entered in the bottom of the ninth to try to send the game to extras for Oakland, and he surrendered a single to left field off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Hanson came on to pinch run for Guerrero Jr., and a curious play unfolded. A ground ball was hit to Morales at first, and he threw to second for the force out. Morales hesitated on the throw and it appeared Chapman at second was not in contact with the base when he received the ball on the force play.


After review the umpires did not overturn the call, dispute clear video evidence no out was made. Drury hit a single in the next at-bat for what would have been a game winner, but instead it left runners on first and second for Galvis to pinch-hit for Socrates Brito. Galvis struck out swinging to send the game to extra innings.


With the game tied at the top of the ninth, Ken Giles came in for Toronto and recorded three quick outs.


J.B. Wendelken replaced Bassitt to open the bottom of the eighth, with Teoscar Hernandez pinch hitting for Luke Maile - he hit a shallow fly ball to right field. Sogard hit a single but the next two batters were retired by Wendelken.  


Daniel Hudson entered the game in the top of the sixth in relief of Thornton. Piscotty hit the first pitch thrown by Hudson to the warning track in centre, but Randal Grichuk was able to make a leaping catch into the wall. After taking a walk, Chad Pinder was caught stealing when Hudson stepped off the mound and threw over to first. 


The seventh inning started with Joe Biagini on the mound to replace Hudson, and he induced three easy outs to keep the tie intact. Ryan Tepera came out to start the eighth inning, when Davis hit a solid single to left field. With two out McKinney dropped a line drive to put runners on second and third with the error. Tepera maintained the lead with a strikeout on Pinder on a tough sinking fastball. 


Walks were an issue early for Thornton, his fourth walk issued of the afternoon was to Matt Chapman to lead the top of the third. Chapman scored a batter later when Davis laced a ball to the left field wall.


The top of the fifth again started with command issues for Thornton, this time he walked Robbie Grossman but was able to escape without any further damage. His 103rd and final pitch of the afternoon struck out Davis swinging, and Thornton walked off the mound pumping his fist.


Sogard continued his early-season tear, as he hit a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first for the second time in three games. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games with the home run. 


Toronto is off tomorrow as they head to the west coast for a three game set against the Los Angeles Angels, which starts on Tuesday. Oakland continues its road trip, heading down to Boston to play the Red Sox on Monday.