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Gonzalez leads A's over Blue Jays

Aug 21, 2011 - 6:26 AM Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Gio Gonzalez turned in eight solid innings and Josh Willingham contributed a late pinch-hit two-run homer as Oakland downed Toronto, 5-1, in the third edition of a four-game set.

Hideki Matsui posted two hits with an RBI and Ryan Sweeney also drove in a run for the Athletics, who have won four of their last five including two of three in this series.

Gonzalez (10-11) scattered four hits and one run, striking out nine with one walk to snap a five-start losing streak. Andrew Bailey worked a perfect ninth to close out the victory.

Edwin Encarnacion knocked in the lone run for the Blue Jays, who have lost two in a row after winning the series opener on Thursday.

Henderson Alvarez (0-1) pitched well in his first big league defeat, allowing seven hits and two runs -- one earned -- over six full frames.

Clinging to a one-run lead, Brandon Allen's double off Jesse Litsch kept the eighth alive, and he came around when Sweeney followed with a base hit for a 3-1 Oakland edge.

Rommie Lewis got the call, but Willingham effectively wrapped up the game with a long pinch-hit homer to left for a four-run bulge.

Bailey set down Toronto in order in the ninth.

Toronto picked up a run in the first as Eric Thames singled with one out and later scored on an Encarnacion base hit, and Oakland countered in its turn as Matsui knocked in Cliff Pennington, who doubled with one out.

"In the first inning, it didn't look like he had his great stuff," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Gonzalez. "It looked like he had a different look in his eye when he came out for the next inning."

The A's took a 2-1 lead in the fourth as Allen led off with a single, moved to third when Jays second baseman John McDonald mishandled a Sweeney grounder and came home when David DeJesus grounded into a double play.

Pennington was robbed of extra bases to close out the seventh, as Jays right fielder Mike McCoy made an over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track.

Game Notes

Gonzalez hadn't won since July 17 against the Angels...Willingham's pinch-hit blast was the first by the Athletics at home since August 15, 2008 (Kurt Suzuki walkoff vs. White Sox)...Alvarez did not earn a decision in each of his first two previous starts, a 5 2/3 inning outing in his major-league debut against Oakland on August 10, and going five frames at Seattle on August 15...Prior to the contest, the Jays assigned pitcher Kyle Davies to Triple-A Las Vegas.