TORONTO -– The A’s had their momentum stopped cold this weekend by a Blue Jays team that finally awakened from an early-season offensive slumber.
Eric Surkamp endured his first truly poor start as an Athletic and Oakland couldn’t recover in Sunday’s 6-3 loss at the Rogers Center.
Jose Bautista and Ezequiel Carrera each went deep off Surkamp, who was tagged for six runs and issued four walks in 4 2/3 innings. The A’s took Friday’s opener for their sixth victory in a row, but their starting pitching took a beating in the final two games of the series.
Chris Bassitt and Surkamp (0-2) each surrendered six earned runs Saturday and Sunday, respectively. As a staff, A’s pitchers had allowed two or fewer earned runs in five consecutive games leading into Saturday.
Now the A’s head to Detroit for the start of a four-game series. They’re still in nice shape through two legs of this road trip, with a 4-2 record, but they’ll be looking to get back on the winning track and finish the 10-game trek strong.
Surkamp’s vulnerable outing Sunday leaves open the question of whether the A’s make a move in his rotation spot. Jesse Hahn, who started Sunday for Triple-A Nashville, has been working his way back into form in the minors. In addition, top pitching prospect Sean Manaea has been sharp in the early going for Nashville.
Starting pitching report
Surkamp held the Jays off the board in the first two innings but hit tough times in the third. Ezequiel Carrera, the leadoff man who really hurt the A’s the past two games, homered to right-center to start the inning. Josh Donaldson followed with a double. Surkamp then got two ground-ball outs but couldn’t shut the door, as Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar and Darwin Barney all delivered RBI singles. Bautista connected for a two-run shot on a 1-0 pitch in the fourth.
Marc Rzepczynski, Ryan Dull and Fernando Rodriguez held Toronto scoreless over 3 1/3 innings to keep the A’s within striking distance.
At the plate
Three solo homers weren’t enough for Oakland to erase a deficit that was as large as five runs at 6-1. Khris Davis, Josh Reddick and Chris Coghlan all went deep but the A’s couldn’t string any rallies together against Drew Hutchison (1-0), who was called up from Triple-A to make a spot start and allowed just four hits over 5 2/3 innings. Mark Canha, drawing the start at DH, struck out swinging in all four of his plate appearances. On the bright side, Davis continues to turn his fortunes around with the bat.
In the field
Neither team committed an error.
A sellout for the second straight day — 46,300.
The A’s open a four-game series in Detroit on Monday with a tough assignment facing Jordan Zimmerman (3-0, 0.00), who has yet to allow a run in 2016 through three starts. Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.04) goes for the A’s. First pitch at 4:08 p.m. Tuesday — Rich Hill (2-2, 3.32) vs. Mike Pelfrey (0-3, 3.68), 4:08 p.m. Wednesday — Sonny Gray (3-1, 2.73) vs. Justin Verlander (1-2, 5.79), 4:08 p.m. Thursday — Chris Bassitt (0-1, 4.44) vs. Anibal Sanchez (2-2, 7.00), 10:08 a.m. The first three games air on CSN California, with Thursday’s game on the MLB Network.