A's hand Jays record shutout loss
After coming out on the losing end of six consecutive starts, Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero isn't just feeling anger. There is also embarrassment.
Coco Crisp hit two home runs and Yoenis Cespedes had two RBI doubles, leading A.J. Griffin and the Oakland Athletics over Romero and the Blue Jays 16-0 for their season-high seventh straight win.
''It's kind of tough to look my teammates in the eye right now,'' Romero said. ''Tonight was just pathetic on my side, a horrible performance.''
Romero (8-7) lasted only 1 1-3 innings in the shortest start of his career.
''Obviously for Ricky, a tough outing,'' Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. ''We've got to work to get him right, there's no question about it.''
It was the most-lopsided shutout loss ever for Toronto. Things got so out of hand that the Blue Jays used catcher Jeff Mathis to pitch the ninth inning, and he gave up two runs on an RBI double by Brandon Hicks and an RBI single by Brandon Moss.
Mathis came into the game in the second after Toronto lost catcher J.P. Arencibia to a broken right hand after he was hit by Brandon Inge's foul tip. Arencibia, who stayed in the game until the half-inning ended, is expected to miss six weeks.
''My hand was pretty bruised up and the umpire asked me if I wanted to call anybody out and I said `No,''' Arencibia said. ''If I had to throw a ball we probably would have been in big trouble but thankfully I didn't have to.''
Romero, who came in 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA in six career starts against the Athletics, matched a season-high by allowing eight runs, four hits and six walks.
Farrell said the Blue Jays have not discussed skipping Romero in the rotation, but would not rule out such a move.
''We've got to continue to work with him,'' Farrell said. ''This isn't like flipping on a switch, this is going to take some time.''
Romero is the first Toronto pitcher to lose six straight starts since Josh Towers lost seven in a row in 2006.
With 14 hits, Oakland raised its team batting to .230, lifting the Athletics into a tie with Seattle for 13th in the AL. The A's have scored 385 runs this season, the fewest in the AL, but they currently own in the second wild card berth.
''My guess is after today we're probably not last in the league in hitting anymore,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''We're moving up.''
Chris Carter homered and drove in three runs. He drew a bases-loaded walk from Romero during an eight-run second inning as Oakland improved to 16-2 in July.
''We're still riding this wave of good offense and swinging the bats well,'' outfielder Josh Reddick said.
The A's posted their fifth 16-0 shutout in franchise history and their first since a lopsided win over San Francisco on June 26, 2005.
Griffin (3-0) gave up three hits in six innings. The rookie struck out nine in winning his third straight start and leaving with a 2.25 ERA.
''He mixed his pitches, he did everything as if it was a close game, and that's what you want to see,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Crisp hit a leadoff drive to right in the third and went deep to almost the same spot in the fifth, his first multihomer game of the season and the third of his career.
Jonny Gomes reached base four times for Oakland, now 10-1 since the All-Star break.
Already leading on Cespedes' RBI double in the first, Oakland broke it open in the second.
Left fielder Travis Snider's error on Crisp's single led to the first run, and Gomes followed with an RBI single. Reddick added an RBI double and, after an intentional walk to Cespedes loaded the bases, Romero ended his night by walking Carter to force home a fifth run.
Inge greeted reliever Chad Beck with a two-run double, Derek Norris grounded a run-scoring single through the right side and Hicks capped the rally with an RBI groundout.
The eight runs matched Oakland's biggest inning of the season. The A's also scored eight in the second inning of a 12-1 win over Texas on June 4.
Crisp's two solo shots made it 11-0 before Carter hit a drive in the sixth off Drew Carpenter, his sixth.
Reddick made the defensive play of the game, climbing the chain link fence in front of the visiting bullpen in right and hanging there to snag Snider's deep drive for the final out of the second. Toronto fans cheered what they thought was a home run and the stadium horn sounded briefly as Reddick dropped down and ran off the field.
''He was like a spider monkey out there,'' Griffin said.
NOTES: Toronto demoted Beck to Triple-A Las Vegas after the game. Once Arencibia is placed on the DL Thursday, the Blue Jays will recall RHP Joel Carreno and LHP Evan Crawford from Triple-A. ... The sixth position player in Blue Jays' history to take the mound, Mathis also pitched an inning in a 14-3 loss to Texas on May 26. ... Toronto SS Yunel Escobar was scratched due to tightness in his back and replaced by Omar Vizquel. ... Tuesday's surgery on Blue Jays RHP Sergio Santos showed fraying of the labrum but no tear, manager John Farrell said. Santos will begin a throwing program in mid-December and should be ready in time for spring training. ... Toronto RHP Drew Hutchison (elbow) is scheduled to resume throwing July 27, six weeks after his initial injury. Hutchison is not expected back until September. ... Blue Jays RHP Brandon Morrow (strained left oblique) threw 30 pitches of live batting practice Wednesday and will make a two-inning rehab start at Class A Dunedin on Sunday.