Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oakland a's Hit Season-High Five Home Runs to Trounce Toronto Blue Jays 14-6

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oakland a's Hit Season-High Five Home Runs to Trounce Toronto Blue Jays 14-6

Article excerpt

Rogers lasts three innings in Blue Jays' loss

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TORONTO - Esmil Rogers started so well after he moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation for the Toronto Blue Jays on May 29.

But the right-hander has struggled over his previous few starts, including Friday, where he lasted only three innings in the Blue Jays' 14-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

It was Rogers' fifth consecutive loss.

"He's not in the strike zone as much, that's pretty obvious." Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They're barrelling him up, they're not missing many right now."

Josh Reddick hit three home runs and drove in five in Oakland's victory. The A's hit a season-high five home runs as Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes also added solo shots.

It was a needed win for Oakland, who has won only two of their past eight games. With Friday's victory, the A's ended their three-game losing streak.

Lowrie picked up four RBIs and recorded his third four-hit game of the season, while A's second baseman Eric Sogard extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games -- the longest hitting streak by an A's player this season.

"I finally got something to go my way," said Reddick, who entered Friday struggling with a .145 batting average and an 0-for-20 slump before homering in the third inning against Rogers. "You hit it over there, they can't catch it."

Rogers (3-7) has an earned-run average of 8.50 over his past seven starts. But the 27-year-old, who's thrown 96 2/3 innings so far this season, was quick to dismiss fatigue as a reason for his recent struggles.

"I don't feel tired," Rogers said. "I don't even know how many innings I got. At the end of the day I passed the innings from last year, but I don't think about it. I don't think my body is hurting, and I feel great."

He said the problem lies in his breaking ball.

"I can't even use my breaking pitch because I can't even throw it for a strike," Rogers said. "Yes, it's really hard for me. I think that's my key. My secondary pitch is my breaking ball. When I'm only using my fastball, everybody can hit the fastball at this level.

"I'm not doing anything different. I think today, something was wrong with my mechanics, but I think everything is okay. I keep working on my arm motion. I think that's the key."

Despite the struggles from his starter, Gibbons doesn't think Rogers should be pulled from the rotation.

"He's earned that," Gibbons said of Rogers' spot. "He's battling out there. He's a competitor. He's going through a really tough time."

The Blue Jays, who have now lost two in a row, hit two home runs against A's reliever Pat Neshek in the eighth inning. Jose Bautista hit his 26th homer of the season and Colby Rasmus followed with his 18th.

It was the opener of a seven-game home stand for the Blue Jays (53-62) who returned from a 5-5 West Coast trip that included winning two of three games against the Athletics (65-49). …

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