Carlos Pérez breaks out of batting slump as Athletics to beat Blue Jays 5-2

Sep 6, 2023, 4:09 PM

Zack Gelof (L) #20 and Nick Allen #2 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate defeating the Toronto Blue ...

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 06: Zack Gelof (L) #20 and Nick Allen #2 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate defeating the Toronto Blue Jays by 5-2 at RingCentral Coliseum on September 06, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Carlos Pérez broke out of a lengthy batting slump with a two-run homer off Hyun Jin Ryu and the Oakland Athletics avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Wednesday.

It was a milestone day for Ryu. The 36-year-old left-hander threw 77 pitches in his seventh start after beginning the season in the minors. That’s one more start than Ryu had in 2022, when his season was cut short in June due to Tommy John surgery.

Pérez’s sixth home run of the season accounted for the only A’s runs scored off Ryu (3-2), who allowed five hits and had five strikeouts with one walk. The loss was his first since Aug. 1, when he made his season debut.

Kevin Smith, called up from the minors before the game, added a three-run homer off Trevor Richards for the A’s. Oakland had lost two straight to the Blue Jays after sweeping Shohei Ohtani and the Angels to begin its homestand.

Davis Schneider homered for Toronto. The Blue Jays started the day with a half-game lead over the Rangers for the third AL wild-card spot.

A’s starter JP Sears (4-11) pitched five uneven innings and earned his first win since July 28. Sears, who leads the majors in hit batters, worked around four walks and allowed four hits and one run.

Ryu began the game by retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced before running into trouble in the fourth, despite a great defensive play by first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

After Ryan Noda reached on a fielder’s choice, Pérez slammed a 2-2 fastball into the left field stands.

Pérez was also part of Oakland’s three-run sixth, when he and Jordan Diaz opened the inning with consecutive singles against Richards. Smith followed with his fifth home run, and first since June 11.

Sears pitched well enough to win, but the pitching highlight for the A’s was the return of top pitching prospect Mason Miller, who missed 105 games with a right forearm strain. Miller had three strikeouts and threw 27 pitches in two hitless innings.

Dany Jimenez followed Miller and allowed one run in one inning. Trevor May retired three batters in the ninth and picked up his 18th save.

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