TORONTO -- Troy Tulowitzki hit a pair of home runs while Josh Donaldson added one of his own as the Blue Jays' offense finally came to life in a 9-3 victory to snap the A's six-game win streak on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
Tulowitzki went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs in his first multi-homer game since May 29, 2015, at Philadelphia. Donaldson added his league-leading seventh of the year against his former team and finished the day with three hits and a pair of runs scored. Ezequiel Carrera went 4-for-5 and scored three runs for Toronto.
Left-hander J.A. Happ picked up the victory after tossing seven strong innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out one and has recorded a quality start in all four of his outings this season. He nearly became the third Blue Jays pitcher since the beginning of the Wild Card era to toss at least six innings with two runs or less in his first four starts to the year.
"We were just trying to mix it up," Happ said about his game plan for the afternoon. "We threw a lot of curveballs today. They hit some at guys, and we made some great defensive plays, too."
Right-hander Chris Bassitt took the loss for Oakland after he was charged with six runs on nine hits over five innings. He allowed a pair of runs in the first and then surrendered the big three-run shot to Donaldson in the second that broke the game wide open. Right-handed reliever Liam Hendriks was also charged with a pair of runs.
Mark Canha homered for the A's in the first inning, while Jed Lowrie had a pair of hits and scored a run. The loss was Oakland's first on the road this season.
"The offense did well again today, and I just didn't give us a chance, and that's the most disappointing thing," Bassitt said. "The first two innings was just a huge uphill battle. I just wish I felt a lot better than I did."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Donaldson's revenge: Donaldson gave the A's a close-up view of what they have been missing for the last year and change. The former Oakland slugger went deep to right-center field in the bottom of the second inning for a three-run shot. According to Statcast™, Donaldson's seventh of the year was projected to travel 396 feet and left his bat at 103 mph. The seven home runs currently leads the American League.
"For me personally, I definitely enjoy playing against [Oakland]," Donaldson said. "With that being said, you can tell they're playing with confidence right now, they're swinging the bats well, getting some pretty nice pitching up and down ... We were able to get on Bassitt pretty early and keep it going, and today was more Toronto Blue Jays offense-like than what we've seen early on in the season."
Bassitt struggles: The first inning proved inauspicious for Bassitt, who gave up hits to each of his first two batters en route to yielding nine on the day, a new career high. The right-hander struggled with location and endured several lengthy innings as a result, facing the minimum in only one of his five. Bassitt had allowed just six earned runs in his previous 19 1/3 innings this season, and only two in his last 14. The six earned runs tie his career high.
"That took some energy out of him I think, that first inning, then he just gave up a couple long balls offer that," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Maybe not his best fastball today, as far as the velocity goes, and left a few cutters in the middle of the plate, but we still needed him to go as long as he did. Not his best day, but probably not as bad as it looks numbers-wise either." More >
Tulo doubles down: Tulowitzki finally had a breakout afternoon at the plate with a pair of home runs. The first came in the bottom of the fifth inning off Bassitt and was projected to travel 407 feet. The second solo shot came two innings later when Tulowitzki sent a 2-1 offering from former Blue Jay Hendriks over the wall in left for his fourth home run of the year. It was the first multi-homer game of the season for Tulowitzki and the 12th of his career. More >
No intent: Hendriks got Rogers Centre riled up when he tagged Donaldson with a pitch on his left leg with one out and a runner on third in the sixth inning, but the right-hander said after the game there was "definitely no intention against Donaldson. I played with him last year. Great teammate, great guy. Just a ball that slipped out and managed to get him pretty square." Happ didn't see it as such, though, electing to retaliate by hitting Khris Davis with his first pitch of the seventh inning. Davis ultimately scored on an RBI single off the bat of Josh Phegley.
"Yeah, I do that most of the time when I get hit." -- Donaldson, on glaring back to the mound after getting hit by Hendriks
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Carrera had the first four-hit game of his career. More >
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons won his challenge in the top of the fifth following a disputed call at first. Phegley hit a grounder down the first base line that was fielded by Justin Smoak, who then made a toss to Happ. Phegley slid into the bag and was called safe by first base umpire Jerry Meals, but the play then went to review. It was later overturned and ruled that Happ caught the ball and touched first before Phegley's knee made contact with the bag.
WHAT'S NEXT A's: Left-hander Eric Surkamp (0-1, 3.68 ERA) will be making his fourth start for the A's on Sunday to close out a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, with first pitch set for 10:07 a.m. PT. Surkamp pitched into the sixth inning for the first time this season in his last start, limiting the Yankees to two runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Drew Hutchison will make a spot start when the Blue Jays close out their series against the A's. Hutchison will be promoted from Triple-A Buffalo prior to this outing and is expected to return to the Minors immediately after the game. The spot start is designed to give everyone in the starting rotation an extra day of rest.