for this game

Stairs, Blue Jays crush Athletics in rubber match

Jul 5, 2007 - 12:33 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Canadian Matt Stairs gave Canada's only major league team a lift on Independence Day.

Stairs drove in four runs and homered and Dustin McGowan pitched seven scoreless innings as the Toronto Blue Jays cruised to a 10-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old Stairs hit a two-run double as part of a four-run opening frame and added a two-run homer in the third.

"Winning this series is huge," Stairs said. "After losing last night it was nice to get the momentum back with a win today. It makes it easier with the off-day tomorrow, and the long flight, to hopefully keep up the momentum for the next series."

After Alex Rios singled, Athletics starter Joe Kennedy (2-7) issued three straight walks to set the stage for Stairs, who hammered a double to deep left and Gregg Zaun followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to give the Blue Jays an early 4-0 advantage.

"He was having trouble throwing strikes," Stairs said. "It was one of those things where we were playing A's baseball by being patient and taking a lot of pitches. We were able to get the runs early and keep it going."

A native of St. John, New Brunswick, Stairs sent Oakland reliever Shane Komine's 2-0 offering just over the left field wall to open up a 6-0 lead in the third inning. The former Athletic has 13 home runs on the season.

"He's still a very good player and hasn't lost much," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He has a knack for getting the big hit. That's what he does."

McGowan (5-4) surrendered just four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

"When we hit like that we're tough to beat," McGowan said. "When you have a lead like that it makes it easier to pitch, but you still have to be able to pound the zone. Early on I wasn't able to do that, but once I settled down I was able keep the ball down and still go after their hitters."

"It makes it easier to pitch when you have a lead like that," Gibbons said. "It makes it easier to get away with mistakes. The way he's been pitching lately, you don't even worry about that."

After giving up back-to-back singles to Shannon Stewart and Mark Kotsay in the third, the 25-year-old McGowan retired 10 of the next 11 batters before Eric Chavez led off the seventh with a ground-rule double.

Vernon Wells added a solo home run in the sixth inning to give the Blue Jays an 8-0 lead.

Toronto extended its advantage to 10-0 in the eighth on a two-run double by Rios, who was 6-for-11 with five RBI in the series.

The only negative for the Blue Jays was a foot injury suffered by third baseman Troy Glaus in the second inning.

Glaus fouled a ball of his left foot and was replaced in the field by Howie Clark in the third.

"They took some X-rays and they were inconclusive," Gibbons said. "He'll get checked out tomorrow. We'll know more then."

Kennedy had his shortest outing of his career as a starter, surrendering four runs and two hits with four walks over just 2/3 innings. It was also the shortest outing by an Oakland starter since Joe Blanton went one-third of an inning against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on May 25, 2005.

"He had trouble throwing strikes early," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "He threw 36 pitches in the first inning and after last night, I knew we had some bullpen to work with. I thought we might be able to salvage it by bringing Shane (Komine) in."

"You're going to have outings like that," Oakland catcher Jason Kendall said. "You just have to move on and go at them again the next time."

Oakland ended Toronto's shutout bid in the eighth when Jack Cust hit a two-run double to right field to cut the deficit to 10-2.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 4 0 2 1 0 1 0 2 0 10 9 2
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - DUSTIN MCGOWAN, JORDAN DEJONG (8TH), BRIAN TALLET (8TH) AND
    GREGG ZAUN
    OAK - JOE KENNEDY, SHANE KOMINE (1ST), JAY MARSHALL
    (8TH) AND JASON KENDALL

    HOME RUN

    Jul 4 7:02 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAN JOHNSON SCORED JACK CUST.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D JOHNSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 10
    OAKLAND 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.271, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 6:42 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JACK CUST SCORED SHANNON STEWART AND NICK
    SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J CUST ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 10
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D MURPHY (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 6:37 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED ROYCE CLAYTON AND VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A RIOS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 10
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: H CLARK (.303, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 6:22 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VERNON WELLS (12) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF SHANE KOMINE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 8, OAKLAND 0
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.293, 1-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 5:45 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX RIOS SCORED ROYCE CLAYTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V WELLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 7
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: H CLARK (.290, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 5:18 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MATT STAIRS (13) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF SHANE KOMINE SCORED AARON HILL.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6, OAKLAND 0
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.223, 0-FOR-0, SF, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 4:55 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - DUSTIN MCGOWAN
    OAK - SHANE KOMINE

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.307, 7 HR, 26 RBI)
    M KOTSAY (.241, 1 HR, 12 RBI)
    N SWISHER (.267, 10 HR, 45 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. AthleticsJul 4 4:26 PM