Graveman's Toronto return blemished by errors

Semien, Sogard miscues result in unearned runs as righty faces former team

Graveman's Toronto return blemished by errors

TORONTO -- Following Monday's off-day, the A's strolled into Rogers Centre on Tuesday with a three-game winning streak in tow, only to play "like we had about five off the first couple innings of the game," summed up A's manager Bob Melvin.

A visibly frustrated Melvin watched his club gift-wrap the Blue Jays their ninth consecutive win, a 4-2 decision, courtesy of a pair of errors that led to two of the three runs in a messy second.

The damage proved two-fold, as starter Kendall Graveman was forced to throw 33 pitches in the frame and exited after just 4 2/3 innings on 103 pitches in his first start in Toronto since his November trade to the A's.

"That might be the worst inning we've played this year," Melvin said. "And we've had some bad defensive innings. But all the way around, we basically gave them the whole inning. It should have been a different kind of game if we'd played any kind of defense that inning."

It began with a double off the bat of Chris Colabello that bounced over the head of left fielder Coco Crisp -- "I think he thought he had it at first, and then when he realized he wasn't going to get it, he was too close," Melvin said -- and continued with Marcus Semien's Major League-leading 30th error of the season.

Semien, who had made just one error in his previous 24 games, bobbled Russell Martin's groundball and, after pausing to watch Colabello, threw wide to first base, bringing in the tying run.

Martin reaches, Colabello scores

"Right now," Semien said, "I'm taking this one kind of hard.

"When I went to field it, I shouldn't have even had the runner at second on my mind. As I caught it, I was bobbling the ball and never really got a good grip and tried to do everything at once, and it didn't work out."

Justin Smoak's ensuing double gave the Blue Jays a lead they would never give back, and he would score after advancing to third base on second baseman Eric Sogard's fielding error.

Smoak's RBI double

"That was a bad fate for Kendall," Melvin said. "Kendall pitched a lot better than what he ended up getting and then ended up having to come out early because of the pitch count."

Graveman, who was charged with four runs (two earned) on five hits against his former team, appeared unfazed by the commotion on the artificial turf, afterward calling it "a growing experience."

"Those guys go out and work their butts off every day," Graveman said. "You see Semien out there at 1 o'clock every day working, working, working. He's going to be a great player for us. I just got to continue to try to find a way to keep our team in the game right there … to not get sped up, to slow the game down, and that's probably something I couldn't have done earlier in the year."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.