Blue Jays-Athletics: Toronto Takes Advantage of Oakland's Recent Struggles

Adam GreuelSenior Analyst IAugust 4, 2008

A day after losing the series finale to Texas, the Jays came home in winning fashion with a 6-1 win over the struggling Oakland Athletics in the first of the four-game set.

Although the Jays hit well today, they can thank the Atheltics' starter Sean Gallagher's wildness for essentially giving them a win.

In just three innings of work, Gallagher hit two batters, walked four, gave up four hits, and let in five runs (four of them earned). It took him 94 pitches to get through those three innings.

Toronto got on the board early in the second inning. They broke the game wide open an inning later when they plated four run to take an early 5-0 lead.

A's starter Sean Gallagher (4-5) hit a Jays batter with the bases loaded to bring in a Toronto run. The Jays also plated one run each on a sacrifice fly, a passed ball, and a fielder's choice groundout. Matt Stairs also singled home a run in the third inning.

Meanwhile, staff ace Roy Halladay strengthened his bid for his second Cy Young award. Halladay went eight strong innings, lowering his season ERA to 2.77, giving up just one run, and striking out eight.

Halladay is second in strikeouts among AL pitchers, just behind his teammate A.J. Burnett. Both Halladay and Burnett are second in the AL in wins, as each pitcher owns a 13-8 record.

This clearly exhibits the lack of run support Halladay gets because Burnett's ERA is nearly two full runs higher the Halladay's.

The only blemish for Halladay tonight was the solo shot he gave up to Bobby Crosby in the eighth inning. If not for that one mistake, Halladay could have likely finished his eighth complete game of the season and earned his third shutout.

Up next: Canadian lefty Scott Richmond (0-1) makes the second start of his career against Oakland Athletics' pitcher Greg Smith (5-10), in the second of the four-game set.