TORONTO (AP) — Josh Reddick snapped out of his season-long slump with a bang. Three of them, to be precise.
Reddick homered in three consecutive at-bats, Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes also connected and the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 14-6 Friday night.
“Fantastic,” Reddick said. “Finally got something to go my way. You hit it over there, they can’t catch it.”
Reddick was hitless in his previous 20 at-bats before connecting off Esmil Rogers with a solo blast in the second inning that hit the facing of the second deck in right. He hit another solo homer in the fifth, an opposite-field shot to left off reliever Neil Wagner, and then smacked a three-run drive off Juan Perez in the sixth.
“That was a breakthrough,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Long time coming for him.”
The home runs were the sixth, seventh and eighth of the season for Reddick, who has three career multihomer games. All three homers came with two outs.
The power-packed performance proved a tough act to follow for Oakland DH Seth Smith, who watched all three homers from the on-deck circle.
“I was like ‘Aw man, how am I going to follow that?’” Smith joked.
Reddick is the sixth player this season to hit three homers in a game. It’s the first three-homer game by an Athletics player since Erubiel Durazo did it in a 5-4 victory at Baltimore on Aug. 18, 2004, hitting a pair of two-run homers and a solo shot.
Facing Sergio Santos with the bases empty in his fifth and final at-bat in the eighth, Reddick took a mighty swing on a 1-0 pitch but didn’t make contact. He worked the count to 3-1 before grounding out to second base, just as he’d done against Rogers for the final out of the first.
Reddick said he was “anxious and shaking in the box” as he chased a fourth homer.
“There’s nothing else on your mind at that point,” he said. “My 1-0 swing showed that I wasn’t trying to hit a single to left.”
Reddick hit a career-best 32 homers last season, but hasn’t come close to duplicating that in a frustrating 2013 season.
“This could be a great thing for him and us to kind of turn the corner and get hot at the right time,” Oakland right-hander Jarrod Parker said.
Oakland came in batting .219 in 22 games since July 10, but set a season high in runs and pounded out 17 hits against the Blue Jays, winning for the sixth time in eight games at Rogers Centre.
Lowrie had four hits and four RBIs before leaving for a pinch runner, coming within a triple of the cycle. It was the third four-hit game of his career.
Parker worked six innings as the Athletics won for just the second time in eight games and prevented Texas from overtaking them for first place in the AL West.
Parker (8-6) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, walked one and struck out six to win back-to-back starts for the first time since a three-game winning streak from May 28 to June 7.
Jose Bautista hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays, his 26th, and Colby Rasmus added a two-run drive, his 18th. Both homers came off reliever Pat Neshek.
Oakland jumped on Rogers in the first, scoring four runs before the struggling right-hander could record an out. Coco Crisp led off with a single, Eric Sogard walked and Lowrie blasted a three-run homer, his ninth. Cespedes lined the very next pitch out to left, his 18th, the fifth time this season that Oakland has gone back-to-back.
The Athletics tacked on two more in the second on an RBI single by Crisp and a rare double-play sacrifice fly by Sogard, with Crisp running on the pitch and unable to get back to first safely on Sogard’s fly ball.
Toronto cut the deficit to 6-3 in the bottom half. Crisp. Emilio Bonifacio singled home Brett Lawrie and scored on a double by Jose Reyes.
Rogers (3-7) allowed seven runs and seven hits in three innings, the shortest of his 13 starts this season. Rogers, who walked two and struck out none, is 0-5 with a 7.13 ERA in the nine starts since his last win, June 18 against Colorado.
“He’s battling out there,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He’s a competitor. He’s just going through a really tough time.”
After Reddick connected in the fifth, Smith and Stephen Vogt followed with back-to-back doubles to make it 9-3.
Leading 12-3 on Reddick’s third homer, Oakland added two more off Perez in the seventh on an RBI single by Lowrie and an RBI grounder by Cespedes. Perez left one pitch later with an elbow injury and was replaced by Santos.
“It doesn’t look good,” said Gibbons, adding that Perez will likely be placed on the disabled list.
NOTES: Oakland had a season-high 19 hits on June 3 at Milwaukee. ... The Athletics optioned RHP Evan Scribner to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for INF Adam Rosales, who was reacquired Thursday in a waiver deal with Texas. ... Oakland RHP Sonny Gray joined the team in Toronto Friday and is expected to make his first major league start Saturday. Oakland’s first round pick in the 2011 draft, Gray made two relief appearances last month. ... Toronto manager John Gibbons said OF Melky Cabrera (left knee) is not expected to return until September. The injury forced Cabrera onto the DL for a second time on Aug. 2. ... Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia missed his second straight game with a sore right knee but is not expected to go on the DL.