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Blue Jays 10 A’s 4 Encarnacion's 3-run HR leads Blue Jays over A's

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POSTED July 26, 2012 9:04 p.m.

TORONTO (AP) — With his latest deep drive, Edwin Encarnacion allowed Toronto's offense to take a deep breath.

Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, Kelly Johnson added a solo drive and the Blue Jays ended Oakland's seven-game winning streak with a 10-4 victory Thursday.

Encarnacion's career-high 27th homer woke up a Blue Jays team still stinging from Wednesday's 16-0 loss, the worst shutout defeat in team history.

"Maybe a little bit of a deep breath, collectively, after that," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Encarnacion's tying shot. "Guys just kind of relaxed and put up better at bats the rest of the game. We didn't miss as many pitches in the strike zone and we were able to bunch some hits together."

Johnson went 2 for 4 with two RBIs as the Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep.

Travis Snider had two hits and two RBIs, driving in the tying run with a squeeze bunt, and Brett Lawrie scored three runs for the Blue Jays. But no hit was more meaningful than Encarnacion's.

"We've been rolling with some punches the last few days," Snider said. "To be able to kind of throw a punch back and put us in a position to win a ballgame was definitely the turning point."

Inge hit a two-run homer and Josh Reddick added a solo drive for the Athletics, who are 16-3 in July and 10-2 since the All-Star break.

"Any time you take two out of three on the road you have to consider it somewhat of a success," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Inge kept the mood light after the loss by storming into the clubhouse following the final out and pretending to be upset, calling the outcome "unacceptable."

"I was just joking, making sure everyone knows we're still going to lose a game here and there but we're going to have fun," Inge said. "That's kind of the way you bounce back. You don't want guys to go 'Oh man, we've had such a good winning streak.'"

Fellow veteran Jonny Gomes liked Inge's approach to dealing with the defeat.

"One of the reasons we've been successful is everyone's got a short memory here," Gomes said. "When we lose, once we leave these double doors, we clean the slate and come back ready to play tomorrow."

Brandon Lyon (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings for his first win since joining Toronto in a 10-player trade with Houston on Friday. Darren Oliver handled the eighth, and Casey Janssen finished.

Toronto starter Aaron Laffey allowed four runs, five hits and three walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Tommy Milone (9-7) gave up eight runs — five earned — and six hits in seven innings with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Reddick's 22nd homer put Oakland ahead in the first, and Inge hit a two-run drive in the third for a 3-0 lead.

Held hitless in the first three innings, Toronto tied it in the fourth on Encarnacion's shot to left.

"It was supposed to be a cutter in," Milone said. "It just kind of flattened out and stayed over the plate, pretty much right where he wants it."

Melvin called Encarnacion "one guy that you don't want to back yourself into a corner with."

Reddick's RBI grounder gave Oakland a 4-3 lead in the fifth, but Toronto went ahead 5-4 in the sixth when Snider bunted home a run on a safety squeeze and Lawrie scored as Milone's throw hit Snider in the back for an error.

Johnson homered in the seventh, just his second since May 28 and 11th this season. Toronto added four runs in the eighth against Sean Doolittle. Snider, Johnson and Jeff Mathis hit RBI doubles and Yan Gomes added a sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Lyon, drafted by the Blue Jays in 1999, won for them for the first time since Apr. 23, 2002. ... Toronto SS Yunel Escobar (back) missed his second straight game. Omar Vizquel started for the Blue Jays. ... Farrell said LHP Ricky Romero, who has lost six consecutive starts, will make his next scheduled start Monday at Seattle. ... Kurt Suzuki started at C for the Athletics but was replaced by pinch hitter Seth Smith in the ninth after being struck by a foul ball.

 

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