Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Brett Lawrie’s first career grand slam capped a five-run sixth inning, as Toronto rallied past Oakland, 8-4, in the second edition of a three-game set from Rogers Centre. Adam Lind finished with two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who also saw Rajai Davis, Aaron Hill and Edwin Encarnacion knock in a run each.
In his major-league debut, Henderson Alvarez lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and three runs with four strikeouts. Casey Janssen (4-0) earned the win by recording the final out of the sixth.
David DeJesus collected two hits including a solo homer and Josh Willingham also went deep for the Athletics, whose three-game win streak came to an end. Gio Gonzalez (9-10) pitched into the sixth inning, but suffered the loss after yielding four hits and four runs with five walks.
Toronto chased Gonzalez and took the lead for good thanks to that deciding frame. Lind doubled, then both Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus walked before Craig Breslow got the call. He served up an RBI hit by Hill, which pulled the Jays within 3-2, and after J.P. Arencibia went down swinging, Lawrie launched his blast just over the wall in left to make it a 6-3 contest.
Encarnacion doubled home Jose Bautista in the seventh for a four-run game, and both benches emptied with no real action with one out in the eighth after A’s reliever Jordan Norberto hit Yunel Escobar in the back near his left shoulder blade. The brief dust-up occurred after Davis singled in Lawrie — who doubled in the previous at-bat, to give Toronto an 8-3 advantage. Josh Willingham’s two-out homer in the ninth off Jesse Litsch wasn’t nearly enough for Oakland.
The Jays picked up a run in their first at-bat as Escobar singled, Bautista walked and Lind followed with an RBI single. A walk to Encarnacion loaded the bases, but Gonzalez worked out of the jam by retiring the next two batters.
Oakland tallied three times in the third, on a DeJesus one-out homer, Ryan Sweeney’s RBI double and a two-out, run-scoring hit from Scott Sizemore.
Toronto has won three of the five meetings with Oakland this season…Arencibia was the lone Blue Jays starter to be held hitless…Five Oakland starters (Willingham, DeJesus, Conor Jackson, Kurt Suzuki and Sizemore) connected for two hits in defeat…Alvarez threw 104 pitches, 64 for strikes.