Blanton Stays Unbeaten in August With Win at Toronto

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) -- Still buzzing from his first major league home run, Jack Hannahan knew better than to let a bogus ball into his trophy case.

Hannahan hit a three-run homer, Joe Blanton remained unbeaten in August and the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Monday night.

Nick Swisher also homered for Oakland, which has won six of eight. Swisher singled twice and went 3-for-4.

Acquired in a trade with Detroit last week, Hannahan doubled in the second and homered in the third. He finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs but struck out looking in his final two at-bats.

"It's been a huge whirlwind but I'm having a blast," Hannahan said.

The Athletics had some fun with their new third baseman, stashing a fake momento in his locker after the game and hiding the actual home run ball.

"The date was wrong and everything was spelled differently," Hannahan said. "I was kind of looking at it like 'Jeez, Louise. Wow.' I looked behind me and everyone was laughing at me. They got me."

Once reunited with the keepsake ball, Hannahan said it was headed for a special place in his home.

"I'll definitely put it up in the collection," Hannahan said. "I've got my first hit and my first RBI. This one will go right next to them."

Blanton (11-8) allowed one run and six hits over seven innings, walking none and striking out six.

"I threw some good changeups, threw some pretty good sliders," Blanton said. "It was probably the best curveball I've had all year."

The right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in four August outings after losing four of six July starts, his lone win coming against Toronto on July 3.

"It seemed like he could drop that curveball in in any count," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "He painted the down and away pretty good, too."

Blanton threw six consecutive called strikes to Troy Glaus and Russ Adams in the second.

"That might have been, all season long, they best rhythm I've seen him in," Swisher said. "I've never seen that before."

Toronto scored three in the eighth against reliever Andrew Brown. Reed Johnson was hit by a pitch and scored on Lyle Overbay's double. Two outs later, Frank Thomas and Glaus hit back-to-back RBI doubles, chasing Brown.

Left-hander Alan Embree came on and got pinch-hitter Aaron Hill to fly out. Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

Oakland took a 2-0 lead in the first when Shannon Stewart singled and Swisher homered to center.

Toronto responded with a run in the bottom of the inning when Alex Rios hit a two-out single and scored on a double by Vernon Wells.

The Athletics got all the runs they would need in a four-run third. Jack Cust singled, Mike Piazza flied out and Cust went to third when Glaus threw wide to first on an infield single by Mark Ellis. One out later, Marco Scutaro singled home a run before Hannahan homered to right.

Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum lost for the first time in six starts. Marcum (10-5) allowed six runs and nine hits over three innings, matching his shortest outing of the season. He walked one and struck out four.

"I was terrible," Marcum said. "I didn't locate very well. I'd get some strikes and then I'd make terrible pitches."

Marcum has pitched at least six innings in all but three of his 19 starts since joining the rotation May 13.


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