Blue Jays open four-game set against streaky Athletics

MLB

After three consecutive wins, the Toronto Blue Jays will open a four-game series Monday night in Oakland, Calif., against the Athletics, a team that knows a thing or two about streaks.

The Blue Jays are on their longest win streak of the season after completing a three-game sweep of the visiting Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 victory Sunday in Dunedin, Fla.

The Athletics have been streaky. They already have a six-game losing streak and a 13-game winning streak this season.

After defeating the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, the A’s are 3-5 since their long winning streak.

First baseman Matt Olson was 3-for-5 with a double and a two-run homer for the Athletics on Sunday after missing the previous three games with a swollen left eye, the result of a ball he hit in batting practice ricocheting off the L-screen before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“His eye is open,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “It still looks like he’s got quite a shiner. But he is a tough guy and he wants to play.”

Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien warmed up for his return to Oakland with a home run and four RBIs on Sunday. Semien, who played six seasons with the A’s, was signed as a free agent by Toronto in the offseason.

With the return this week of George Springer (oblique, quadriceps strains) and Teoscar Hernandez (COVID-19), the Blue Jays’ lineup is at full strength for the first time this season.

“I talk about this all the time, how it stretches the lineup out when you add two more good hitters,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

There was concern when Springer, who has been used as DH in his four games, left for pinch-hitter Joe Panik in the sixth inning Sunday.

“He was fatigued,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It was hot today, and (playing) three days in a row swinging the bat, he felt fatigued.”

Toronto left-hander Steven Matz (4-1, 4.00 ERA) will face Oakland on Monday. His only start against the team was a no-decision on July 21, 2017 — three runs, nine hits and no walks in five innings.

The Athletics will start Frankie Montas (2-2, 6.20). The right-hander has faced Toronto once in his career — June 7, 2017, as a reliever in Oakland when he allowed three runs and two hits (both home runs) and hit a batter in two-thirds of an inning. He took the loss in Toronto’s 7-5 win in 10 innings.

Both teams made transactions on Sunday.

Toronto right-hander Ross Stripling (right-forearm flexor strain) was activated from the injured list and allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings in his start on Sunday.

Catcher Alejandro Kirk (left flexor strain), right-hander Anthony Castro (forearm strain) and left-hander Tommy Milone (shoulder inflammation) were put on the IL. Catcher Riley Adams and left-hander Anthony Kay were recalled from the alternate training site.

The Athletics put left-hander Jesus Luzardo (fractured left pinkie) and right-hander J.B. Wendelken (strained left oblique) on the IL.

Melvin said Luzardo’s injury occurred Saturday when he bumped his hand on a desk while playing video games.

Oakland recalled left-hander Adam Kolarek and right-hander Jordan Weems from its alternate site.

“With Weems and Kolarek here, we’re back to a regular complement in the bullpen,” Melvin said. “We’ll just stay in rotation with the regular guys.”

–Field Level Media

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