Davis hits two homers as Oakland tops Blue Jays 5-4

Blue Jays' starter R.A. Dickey threw a knuckler that came in at an estimated 66 miles per hour, and Healy was all over the 3-2 pitch, launching it out to left field with an easy swing for a homer and a 4-2 Oakland lead.

With wins Friday and Saturday over Toronto, Oakland has made up two games in the American League West standings in two days, although at 40-51 it's hardly time to print playoff tickets.

The Blue Jays announced Saturday that they had agreed to a two-year contract extension with first baseman Justin Smoak.

"We feel like he has the potential to play every day, but really it just comes down to alternatives", said Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins on a conference call. The deal will pay the 29-year-old first baseman $4.125 million a season. Khris Davis has been playing pretty well with his 22 homers, 60 RBI, 81 hits and 42 runs. It made for the ninth career multiple-homer game for Davis, the third this season. With two out in the sixth, however, Davis struck again, this time with a solo shot to right.

They are 12-10 since a awful stretch from May 1 to June 19 in which they lost 29 of 44.

The Blue Jays thought they had solved the Marcus Stroman mystery but in his first start after the All-Star break Friday, the plot thickened. The right-hander has a 6.16 ERA over his past 12 starts. He allowed no runs and four hits with 12 strikeouts and no walks in eight innings over two rehab starts with Triple-A Indianapolis.

"You knew it was going to be close, you really never know, we've seen some overturned, some not, you never really know", said Gibbons. "It's been a long time and there've been a lot of things that have happened. You just try and go out there and compete, I don't think it's any secret things haven't gone as you would hope the majority of the year". The three-run shot by Ryon Healy, his first major league hit, stood out.

"If you got the ball up in the air today it was going to go", Dickey said. I just didn't make quality pitches when I needed to. I was trying to find the speed it was moving most and today it was the harder.

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"He struggled a bit, but he did his best work toward the end of the game, which I was impressed with", manager Bob Melvin said of Gray.

Healy, who had about a dozen family members and close friends in the stands for his second Major League Baseball game, tied into a 66-mph serve from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, then had to watch it to make sure it stayed fair. "Once it went out, a big rush of adrenaline ran through my body".

Dickey allowed at least three homers in a start for the third time this season, and has given up 10 over his past five starts, four of them June 25 in Chicago.

Josh Thole was 2 for 3 with a two-run double for the Blue Jays and Edwin Encarnacion hit his 24th homer leading off the top of the third off Gray.

Kevin Pillar gunned the ball to the plate and Russell Martin applied the tag in a bang-bang play that moved home plate ump Mark Wegner to rule the runner out. But with a solid game in Minnesota before the break - six innings, one run but a loss - followed up by his first win in nearly three months Saturday, there is a sense things might be breaking his way. According to Melvin, Doolittle might play catch next week.

Athletics: C Josh Phegley, on the disabled list since July 2 with a strained right knee, could resume baseball activities within a week. Buchholz is 3-9 with a 5.91 ERA in 19 starts but has a 2.89 ERA in his six relief appearances. Gray will be looking to rebound from a very uncharacteristically bad first half of the season, and can start fresh, in a way, with his first start of the new half against a potent Blue Jays lineup. Happ (12-3, 3.36 ERA) has already tied his career high for wins in a season and opens the second half on pace to win 20 games.

Athletics: In his last seven starts, LHP Rich Hill is 6-0 with a 2.05 ERA with no home runs allowed.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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