Marcus Semien powers Oakland Athletics past Toronto Blue Jays 9-2

TORONTO — Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer as part of a four-run fifth inning as the Oakland Athletics thumped the Toronto Blue Jays 9-2 on Sunday.

Semien also drove in Oakland’s (25-22) ninth run of the game. The Athletics have won six of their last seven games and improved to 20-12 in their previous 32 games.

Oakland starting pitcher Daniel Mengden (4-4) kept the Blue Jays bats silent. He pitched seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits and one walk.

Toronto’s Joe Biagini (0-3) struggled to pitch deep into the game. He went four-plus innings and allowed four runs, three earned runs, six hits and walked two batters.

Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run homer as the Blue Jays (22-25). Toronto has dropped eight of its past ten games and was swept in a four-game set at home for the first time since May 31-June 3, 2001, by the Boston Red Sox.

Biagini lost a career-high eighth consecutive decision.

Toronto designated hitter Kendrys Morales made his Major League pitching debut in the ninth inning. The Blue Jays used five pitchers in the game before going to Morales. He allowed just one walk in one inning of work.

The Athletics opened the scoring in the second inning when Matt Chapman crossed home plate after Stephen Piscotty reached first base on a fielding error charged to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Oakland added to its lead in the fifth inning when Chad Pinder hit a ground ball to left field for an RBI single to make it 2-0 Athletics. The hit chased Biagini from the game.

Danny Barnes pitched in relief of Biagini. He surrendered an RBI groundout to Dustin Fowler, which made it 3-0 Oakland. Semien was the next batter and he broke the game open with a two-run shot.

The Athletics added four more runs in the sixth inning. Semien recorded a sacrifice fly RBI for a game-high third run driven in.

Solarte’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth cut Oakland’s lead to seven runs.

The Blue Jays committed four errors, the most they have made in a game since May 18, 2014.

NOTES: Announced attendance was 30,676, …Athletics designated hitter Khris Davis left the game in the fourth inning with a right groin strain while hitting into a double play. During the game, Oakland claimed right-handed pitcher Carlos Ramirez from the Blue Jays.

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