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Jays edge A's to stay hot

Toronto second baseman Steve Tolleson, who homers in the second, forces out Oakland’s Nick Punto and turns a double play in the seventh.

Associated Press

Toronto second baseman Steve Tolleson, who homers in the second, forces out Oakland’s Nick Punto and turns a double play in the seventh.

TORONTO — Liam Hendriks won his season debut and Steve Tolleson hit a two-run homer as the Blue Jays won for the ninth time in 11 games, 3-2 against the A's on Friday.

Promoted from Triple A to face the A's, who came in with the best record in the majors and having won 11 of 13, Hendriks allowed one run and three hits in 52/3 innings. The right-hander walked three and struck out three.

"He was able to move his fastball around and elevate it," Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie said. "It looked like he kept guys just a little bit off balance."

After going 2-13 with a 6.06 ERA in 30 games over three seasons with Minnesota, Hendriks said the chance to pitch for the Blue Jays was "huge."

"I was given opportunities in Minnesota and didn't capitalize on them," said the 25-year-old Australian, who had gone 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA at Triple-A Rochester.

"Now I've got a different mind-set coming into the season, getting aggressive and getting after guys early, and it's paying dividends already."

Tolleson hit Toronto's majors-high 68th home run when he connected off left-hander Scott Kazmir in the second.

His first homer of the year also scored Brett Lawrie, who reached on a fielder's choice.

A throwing error by Kazmir helped the Blue Jays extend their lead in the third. Kevin Pillar hit a leadoff double and went to third when Kazmir wheeled and made a pickoff attempt even though no one was covering the base. Jose Reyes followed with an RBI grounder.

"I should have held on to it," Kazmir said. "It ended up being the difference-maker in the game."

Blue Jays 3

A's 2

Jays edge A's to stay hot 05/23/14 [Last modified: Saturday, May 24, 2014 12:12am]
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