Laureano stays hot, homers again as Athletics defeat Blue Jays


Ramon Laureano homered for the third consecutive day and the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Monday night, spoiling Marcus Semien’s return to the Coliseum.

Stephen Piscotty also went deep for Oakland. Jed Lowrie doubled twice and had three hits.

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Frankie Montas pitched six uneven innings to win the first meeting between the teams in more than two years.

Semien went 1 for 3 with a walk in his first game back in Oakland after signing with Toronto in the off-season. The Bay Area native, who played for the A’s from 2015-20, was greeted with an extended standing ovation before his first plate appearance.

Laureano connected on a 1-0 pitch from starter Steven Matz (4-2) to break a 3-all tie in the fifth. Tony Kemp walked and scored on the home run. Laureano also homered Saturday against the Orioles, then did it again Sunday with a two-run drive in the eighth moments after making a leaping catch at the fence to prevent the go-ahead run.

The A’s centre fielder had previously homered in three straight games in 2019, but never on consecutive days.

Piscotty homered in the second after Lowrie’s RBI double.

Montas (3-2) allowed seven hits and three runs for his first win since April 16. The right-hander struck out four and walked one.

Sergio Romo and Lou Trivino retired three batters apiece. Jake Diekman worked the ninth for his third save.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had three hits for Toronto.

The game was the first between the A’s and Blue Jays since April 28, 2019 — a span of 736 days. They did not play in 2020 due to the pandemic-shortened season.

Matz gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings. He has lost consecutive starts after beginning the season 4-0.

Familiar but different

Semien retraced his old driving route to the ballpark from home in Alameda, then entered from the other side of the Coliseum for a change and needed an assist finding his way to the visiting clubhouse. He departed in free agency to join Toronto on an $18 million, one-year contract, while Oakland’s brass faced scrutiny for not doing more to try to keep him.

“It’s different. I had to ask, `Where do I go?’ because I haven’t been on this side since 2014,” Semien said.

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Semien was looking forward to some quick reunions and saying his hellos to all the familiar faces before taking the field he knows so well. He handled at least 21 ticket requests.

“I’m a Bay Area native and I get to play pro baseball right where I grew up tonight,” Semien said. “I still get to come back here — it’s a perk of being in the AL. You still get to come back home and play in front of family in Oakland every year.”





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