JJ Bleday hits leadoff homer in 9th to give the A's a 2-1 victory the Blue Jays


OAKLAND, Calif. — JJ Bleday hit the first pitch of the ninth inning from Chad Green over the right-field wall to give the Oakland Athletics a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Mason Miller (1-0) struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for the win in a speedy game of 2 hours, 7 minutes.

After an offseason committed to getting stronger, Bleday launched his first career walkoff home run. He is the only A’s player to appear in all 65 games and eight of his nine homers have come at the Coliseum.

“I love talking about JJ. The maturity that he’s shown from last season to this season, the work that he put in this offseason in the weight room really has kind of shown up,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “Not just from a home run standpoint but from a physicality standpoint, we really stressed to JJ that he could push himself harder this offseason than he had in the past.”

Chris Bassitt’s wild pitch against his former club allowed Oakland’s Max Schuemann to score the first run of the game in the sixth. Bo Bichette tied it with an RBI single in the seventh.

The 35-year-old Bassitt, who pitched for the A’s from 2015 to 2021, established the second-lowest ERA ever at the Oakland Coliseum at 2.36 in likely his final start here — besting Catfish Hunter’s 2.39 and trailing only Paul Lindblad’s 2.29 done from 1968-’78.

In addition, Bassitt owns a 2.31 ERA in five outings against his former Oakland team.

The A’s had plenty to celebrate on a night they drew an announced crowd of 16,046 for both the first fireworks show and reverse boycott of the season. Fans chanted “Sell the team! Sell the team!” during pre-planned moments.

Lefty Hogan Harris, who has allowed just five earned runs in now 20 1/3 innings this season, pitched six scoreless innings allowing three hits.

“I’m never going to complain about no runs,” Harris said. “I felt like I went out there just competing.”

The A’s had lost three of four and six of eight, having been shut out by Seattle 2-0 on Thursday.

Toronto lost for the eighth time in 11 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: Starter Alek Manoah will undergo reconstructive right elbow surgery and miss the rest of the season. The decision came after Manoah was examined by Dr. Keith Meister, who will perform the operation on June 17. Manager John Schneider said it was unclear what exactly would be done, whether a full Tommy John ligament replacement or a procedure to place an internal brace into the elbow joint — more was to be known once Meister saw the state of Manoah’s ulnar collateral ligament. … Reinforcements could be coming soon. RHP Yariel Rodríguez is set to start for Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday with the hopes of building his pitch count up to close to 70 and if all goes well there’s a chance he could return from inflammation in his thoracic spine and rejoin Toronto’s rotation.

Athletics: RHP reliever Lucas Erceg threw a 20-pitch bullpen Thursday and will do another on Sunday before the A’s determine whether he’s ready to return — possibly without needing a rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

RHP Kevin Gausman (4-4, 4.60 ERA) was schedule to start Saturday for the Blue Jays opposite Oakland RHP Luis Medina (0-0, 0.00) in his second start of the season after beginning on the 60-day injured list because of a sprained MCL in his right knee.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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