for this game

Blanton hurls complete game, Athletics defeat Blue Jays

Jul 4, 2007 - 5:34 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Joe Blanton and the Oakland Athletics made sure the Toronto Blue Jays paid for their mistakes.

Blanton pitched his third complete game of the season as the Athletics were able to take advantage of two Blue Jay errors en route to a 3-1 victory on Tuesday.

Blanton (8-4), who finished June with a 3-1 record and led all American league starters with a 1.58 ERA, began his first start in July on a good note as well.

"My curveball was working pretty well tonight," Blanton said. "I was able to throw it for strikes and that's what got me deep into the game. Later in the game I was able to change speeds and I think that kept them off balance a little."

The righthander yielded just a run and four hits while striking out three.

"What's the story but Joe Blanton," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "He had everything working and was in control the whole time. It was just a solid performance all around."

It was Blanton's sixth start of eight-plus innings and his three complete games tie him with Derek Lowe and Matt Morris for the most in the majors.

"I told him it was my game and I wanted it," said Blanton of Geren's ninth inning visit to the pitchers mound. "You want to be honest because you don't want to give up the win, but I felt strong enough to finish."

Trailing, 1-0, in the first inning, Shannon Stewart led off with a single to right field before stealing second and advanced to third on an errant throw into the outfield by catcher Gregg Zaun. He then scored on a groundout by Mark Kotsay to forge a 1-1 tie.

The Athletics were able to take advantage of the Blue Jays' second miscue in the second when Troy Glaus's potential inning-ending throw to first base on a grounder by Stewart bounced in the dirt extending the inning. Kotsay followed with an RBI single to right to give Oakland a 2-1 lead.

Toronto rookie Jesse Litsch (1-3), who was battered for five runs in two-thirds of an inning in his last start vs. the New York Yankees, yielded two runs - none earned - and seven hits in seven innings.

"I'm satisfied as much as I can be," Litsch said. "We didn't win tonight, but I gave it everything I had and all my stuff was working pretty good. I wish the outcome would have been different, but that's the way this one went."

The young righthander also struck out five in just his fifth career start, and first against Oakland.

"He pitched good for us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "For a kid with very little experience he did well. He looked a little excited in the first inning, but was able to settle down after that."

Jack Cust provided an insurance run in the eighth with a solo shot over the left field wall off Toronto reliever Brian Wolfe to make it 3-1.

"I was just trying to make contact," Cust said. "I got a pitch out over the front of the plate and was able to get a good swing on it. Their starter settled down after a while, so I was glad to get to get up against someone new."

It was the slugger's team-leading 15th homer.

"It was a huge run for us," Geren said. "His home run made it easier for Joe to go out and finish it off in the ninth."

Toronto's lone run came in the first when Zaun doubled to right-center field and then scored on a run-scoring single by Alex Rios.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 2
    OAKLAND 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 3 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - JESSE LITSCH, BRIAN WOLFE (8TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    OAK - JOE BLANTON AND JASON KENDALL

    HOME RUNS: TOR - NONE
    OAK - JACK CUST (15) OFF BRIAN WOLFE IN THE 8TH, 0 O

    Jul 4 12:17 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JACK CUST (15) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF BRIAN WOLFE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: E CHAVEZ (.249, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 12:01 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED BOBBY CROSBY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KOTSAY ON FIRST, S STEWART ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: N SWISHER (.269, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 3 10:42 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED SHANNON STEWART.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: N SWISHER (.269, 10 HR, 45 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 3 10:20 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 1 1 2 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - JESSE LITSCH
    OAK - JOE BLANTON

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.304, 7 HR, 26 RBI)
    M KOTSAY (.241, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
    N SWISHER (.269, 10 HR, 45 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 3 10:15 PM