Kevin Smith bombed a three-run home run, Carlos Perez added a two-run shot and the Oakland Athletics handed the visiting Toronto Blue Jays an unexpected setback in their American League wild-card pursuit with a 5-2 victory Wednesday afternoon.
JP Sears (4-11) and three relievers combined on a six-hitter, allowing the A’s (43-97) to cap just their second winning homestand of the season with a fourth win in six games.
Despite completing a third consecutive 2-1 series win, the Blue Jays (77-63) failed to improve their playoff position. They began the day a half-game behind the Seattle Mariners and a half-game ahead of the Texas Rangers in their three-team duel for the final two AL wild-card spots. Seattle won to increase its lead while the Rangers lost, leaving the Blue Jays a half-game up in the third and final wild-card slot.
After the visitors had taken a 1-0 lead against Sears in the second inning on an Ernie Clement RBI single, the A’s grabbed the lead for good when Perez belted his sixth homer with Ryan Noda aboard in the fourth.
That homer came off Blue Jays starter Hyun Jin Ryu (3-2), who worked the first five innings and allowed two runs and five hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Smith, who debuted as a Blue Jay in 2021, increased the advantage to 5-1 when he took reliever Trevor Richards over the fence in left-center field in the sixth. Jordan Diaz and Perez had opened the inning with singles.
The 27-year-old Smith was making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Sears was pulled after five innings, having limited the Blue Jays to one run and four hits. He walked four and struck out three.
Relievers Mason Miller, Dany Jimenez and Trevor May followed with four innings of one-run ball, with May earning his 18th save with a one-hit ninth.
Toronto’s second run came courtesy of Davis Schneider’s seventh home run, a solo shot off Jimenez in the eighth.
Cavan Biggio had two hits for the Blue Jays, who had won the first two games of the series 6-5 and 7-1.
–Field Level Media