OAKLAND -- So this is how dangerous the A's can be when their offense, defense and pitching all gel at the same time.
Sure, starter A.J. Griffin started serving up home runs in the middle innings, but it mattered little since the offense had given him a big lead in what would turn out to be a 9-4 A's series-opening victory over Toronto.
Every A's batter reached base -- seven of nine had hits and seven scored at least one run -- and Yoenis Cespedes had a second consecutive three-hit game for the first time in his career.
Oakland (63-43) remained six games ahead of Texas in the American League West while moving a season-high 20 games over .500.
Starting pitching report
A.J. Griffin was perfect through 4 1/3 innings, then a familiar face showed up at his door -- the solo home run, courtesy of Adam Lind. Four batters later, it came knocking again, with Brett Lawrie standing at the door. The third home run Griffin surrendered was a two-run shot, by Edwin Encarnacion, and by the time Griffin's outing was done, after seven innings, he had only allowed four hits…but three were homers. Griffin still got the win to improve to 10-7 after allowing four runs, striking out five and walking two in 99 pitches, 63 strikes. But he has now allowed a major league-leading 26 home runs, 19 of which are solo shots. He has given up 10 long balls in his last five stats.
Sean Doolittle worked a scoreless eighth inning and Jerry Blevins had a badly-needed scoreless ninth to close it out, striking out two lefties in the process.
At the plate
The two power bats the A's need most to wake up showed signs of doing just that. Yoenis Cespedes hit a standup triple…down the third-base line, and drove in two runs on the hit. He later singled and then ended his career-high 25-game homerless streak with a solo shot in the eighth inning. Cespedes has seven RBI in the past two games. Josh Reddick, meanwhile, drove in three runs with a sac fly and a two-run double. Then there was this: Seth Smith, who's hitless skid reached a ghastly 0-for-30 after a first-inning ground out, doubled to drive in a run before singling and walking.
In the field
Coco Crisp. He fast. REAL fast. So fast he ran down Melky Cabrera's shot into the left-center gap that had double and possibly triple written all over it for the second out of the game. Cabrera was so stunned, he simply smiled. Then stared at Crisp. Then smiled some more. Imagine how Mike Trout felt the other night when Crisp threw him out trying to tag on him.
The A's announced a crowd of 13,309 at the O.co Coliseum, a far cry from the more than 100,000 they drew for a four-game set against the Los Angeles Angels this weekend. Then again, it was the Blue Jays. And it was Monday. And it was cold. Meh…
Tweet o' da game
Key word being solo. He watched Parker yesterday, doubt he's going to walk anyone with a 6-run lead. -- @sayanaraML, on Parker's proclivity for giving up solo home runs.
Dan Straily (6-4, 4.43 ERA) is just 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA and .326 batting average against in his two starts since being recalled from triple-A Sacramento. The right-hander has faced the Blue Jays once in his career, in his big league debut on Aug. 3, 2012, and did not have a decision after giving up one run and five hits with five strikeouts and a walk in six innings. Veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle (6-7, 4.50) starts for Toronto.