Blue Jays fall to Athletics on walk off blast

The Toronto Blue Jays flew to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Friday to take on the Oakland Athletics in the first of three games.

But first, a couple of roster moves for the Blue Jays. Spencer Horwitz was called up from Triple-A Buffalo and joined his teammates in Oakland. Unfortunately, this meant someone had to get the boot, and that was Cavan Biggio, who was designated for assignment a bit before game time against the Athletics. This move made room for Horwitz on the active roster as the Blue Jays pushed Biggio off of the 40 man roster. Biggio’s versatility as a utility player could make him an intriguing option for other ball clubs around the league.

Onto the game, the Blue Jays sent Chris Bassitt (6-6, 4.13) to the mound to face off against his former team. The A’s didn’t have a starter lined up originally, but then sent Hogan Harris (0-0, 3.14) to face Bassitt.

Both starters pitched very well and made the game very close. Bassitt threw 8 innings, allowing just one run over four hits, walking two and punching out seven while coming away with a no decision. Harris also left with a no decision, he threw 6 innings, allowing no runs over three hits, two walks and three strikeouts.

As for the scoring, the game was scoreless for the first 5 innings. The Jays went silent in the top of the 6th, however, in the bottom half, the A’s struck first. Bassitt uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Max Schuemann to cross home plate and get Oakland on the board with a 1-0 lead.

The Blue Jays would answer immediately after in the top of the 7th, when Bo Bichette tied the game at one run apiece with an RBI single.

The game would stay at 1-1 until the bottom of the 9th, when J.J. Bleday stepped up to the plate to lead off the inning. Facing Jays reliever Chad Green, Bleday sent the first pitch he saw over the right field wall, giving him a solo shot to walk it off for the A’s in a 2-1 win.

Toronto will have another roster spot freed up, as it was announced earlier on Friday that Alek Manoah (1-2, 3.70) will undergo reconstructive UCL surgery, effectively ending his 2024 campaign. With Manoah out, the Blue Jays are hopeful that Yariel Rodriguez (0-1, 4.11) could fill the fifth spot in the rotation. Rodriguez is set to start for Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday with hopes of pushing his pitch count to around 70. If the Jays think Rodriguez is ready, there’s a chance he could rejoin the big league ranks and fill the hole in Toronto’s starting rotation.

The Blue Jays will look to even the series in Oakland on Saturday afternoon. They will send Kevin Gausman to the mound (4-4, 4.60) as he gets set to face Luis Medina (0-0, 0.00) for the A’s.

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