Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

A's win pitchers' duel on a 12th-inning error

OAKLAND, Calif. — In a game in which offense was an afterthought, the scoreless stalemate ended in fitting fashion: a walkoff error.

Melky Cabrera couldn't corral Nick Punto's double with one out in the 12th, sending the A's to a 1-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday.

"I'm sure (the fans) were ready to go home and get the barbecues started," Punto said.

Derek Norris led off the rally with a walk against Chad Jenkins. After Jed Lowrie lined out to center, Punto poked a slicing double down the line in left.

Cabrera moved to his right to cut off the ball, which squirted by his glove. Norris who runs well for a catcher, hustled from first to end a game highlighted by stellar pitching by Oakland's Tommy Milone, Toronto's Marcus Stroman and both bullpens.

Cabrera never surfaced in the clubhouse during the time reporters were allowed in.

"That's not the game," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Cabrera's misplay. "It was great pitching on both sides."

Stroman gave up seven hits in seven innings for Toronto. Milone allowed four hits in six innings for Oakland.

"That's the definition of a pitching duel," Milone said. "It's exciting. It's fun to watch. But it was about that time."

The left-hander is 6-0 over his past 11 starts and hasn't lost since May 3 at Boston.

"It the same thing he's been doing all season," Blue Jays centerfielder Darin Mastroianni said of Milone. "He changes speed and locates so well,"

Oakland's Ryan Cook, Fernando Abad, Sean Doolittle, Eric O'Flaherty and Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless inning. Jenkins, Brett Cecil, Dustin McGowan and Aaron Loup combined to throw four scoreless innings for the Blue Jays before the A's broke through in the 12th.

"The pitching was fantastic across the board," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "They came in, did their job for the inning and passed the baton to the next guy."

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