The second inning arrived in Toronto, and once again the A’s entered a baseball version of the Twilight Zone.
After letting things slip away defensively in the second in Tuesday’s series opener, they watched the Blue Jays pound their pitching staff for seven runs in the second frame Wednesday in a 10-3 rout at the Rogers Center.
Not that it was all that pretty before the second. A’s rookie Aaron Brooks (1-1) served up Chris Colabello’s three-run homer in the first, then got driven from the game in the second, getting charged with a career-high eight runs in his first rough outing with Oakland after two stellar starts. Felix Doubront was called in from the bullpen and gave up Justin Smoak’s three-run homer.
By the time the A’s finally recorded the third out, Toronto had sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven runs in the second, opening up a 10-2 lead and paving the way to its 10th win in a row.
On Tuesday, the A’s committed two errors in a mistake-filled three-run second for the Jays. Manager Bob Melvin called it possibly Oakland’s worst inning of the season.
The A’s will look to avoid a three-game sweep Thursday morning at the Rogers Center, and they might want to inquire about skipping right from the first inning to the third.
Starting pitching report:
Brooks just has not had a pleasant experience taking the mound in Toronto. Last season, pitching for Kansas City in his second career major league appearance, the right-hander gave up seven runs and three walks in lasting just two-thirds of an inning.
Brooks looked very strong in two starts at the Coliseum on the last homestand, mixing his pitches well and allowing just two runs combined over 14 1/3 innings. But he caught too much of the plate with too many pitches Wednesday, and that proved disastrous against a dangerous lineup like Toronto’s.
This isn’t the way the A’s want to identify their bright spots. But Doubront did well to minimize the damage in long relief after things got out of hand. The left-hander ate up the final 6 1/3 innings, and though he gave up Smoak’s three-run shot to cap the nightmarish second, he also kept Melvin from having to burn through more of his bullpen arms in a hopeless game.
At the plate:
Another game, another Danny Valencia highlight. The A’s hottest hitter homered in the second off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, and Valencia is 9-for-23 with three homers and seven RBI in six games since the former Blue Jay was claimed off waivers by the A’s.
Mark Canha doubled twice and drove in a run as part of his three-hit night.
In the field:
Neither team committed an error on the night.
Sonny Gray (12-4, 2.06) and Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle (12-5, 3.34) match up in Thursday’s 9:35 a.m. series finale.