Mitch Moreland 2-run homer backs pitching gem by Cole Irvin

OAKLAND, Calif. – Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer on the heels of Jed Lowrie’s two-run double in the second to back Cole Irvin’s pitching gem, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Irvin (3-3) struck out a career-high nine over eight scoreless innings in his first start against the Blue Jays, walking off to a standing ovation from the crowd of 2,970 after his final inning. He struck out eight in his previous outing against the Rays and has 29 Ks over his last 25 1/3 innings.

Irvin allowed three hits and one walk, throwing 102 pitches.

Yusmeiro Petit finished the 2-hour, 18-minute game for his seventh save and first since 2017 with the Los Angeles Angels. Petit has a 10-game, 12-inning scoreless streak and hasn’t allowed a run in 13 of his last 14 appearances.

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The A’s improved to an AL-best 19-12, second in the majors only to the Bay Area rival San Francisco Giants, and matched their season-best of seven games over .500.

Marcus Semien, the ex-A’s shortstop still drawing cheers from his former home crowd, hit an RBI double in the sixth.

ANOTHER SOUTHPAW

Oakland faced a left-handed starter for the third straight game, fifth in six and eighth in the last 11 overall, and will see another one Wednesday.

The A’s chased Anthony Kay (0-2) after four innings of first start against an AL West opponent. Kay surrendered four runs and four hits.

The Blue Jays had yet to announce their starter for Thursday’s series finale.

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TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: OF George Springer missed his second straight game and is still experiencing fatigue in his quadriceps muscle that forced him out Sunday. But for now the Blue Jays are not planning further tests or to put him on the injured list, manager Charlie Montoya said. “We want him to be comfortable,” Montoya said.

Athletics: C Aramís García went on the injured list with the stomach flu. “He will be away from us for a time,” manager Bob Melvin said. … C Austin Allen was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. Allen is on the active roster for the first time after spending the first two road trips on the taxi squad. … LHP A.J. Puk (strained biceps) threw a 30-pitch, two-inning simulated outing in the bullpen and will next face hitters in his rehab progression. … OF Chad Pinder (sprained left knee) went through on-field baseball work in his rehab progression.

UP NEXT

RHP Chris Bassitt (2-2, 3.93 ERA) pitches for the A’s seeking his third straight winning decision as Toronto counters with lefty Robbie Ray (1-1, 2.78), who looks to win back-to-back starts for the first time in 2021.

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