OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Blue Jays' offensive philosophy is
simple, and it's working superbly so far: Grind out every at-bat.
Manager John Gibbons isn't ready to promise such offensive
output every night, but he sure likes what he's seeing from his
hitters. The Blue Jays are balanced, evidenced by the bottom four
in their order reaching base 11 times.
"We're tough, we're pesky and we're going to grind out
at-bats," Hinske said. "We were all getting hits one through
nine. Every time I came up there were guys on base. It's fun to hit
on a night like that when you put up 10 runs. We're just trying to
roll with it."
Gustavo Chacin (2-0) pitched six strong innings and didn't allow
a run until Eric Byrnes' homer leading off the sixth. The efficient
left-hander worked with a lead from the beginning in his fourth
The Blue Jays' powerful lineup clobbered right-hander Kirk
Saarloos (1-1) in a hurry, getting five runs and six hits in the
first two innings.
"The guys are hitting really good," Chacin said. "I don't
want to put pressure on myself to be too perfect. I just tried to
put the ball in play."
Toronto began a nine-game road trip with another impressive
victory, marking the second time in three games the Blue Jays
scored at least 10 runs. They are 5-2 after going 7-15 in April
last season -- already having won their first two series of the
year, including taking two of three from the World Series champion
Boston Red Sox over the weekend.
"We want to take that momentum on the road," Hinske said.
"Beating them in their home opener is huge."
Gibbons is optimistic the Blue Jays will be better on the road
this year after their dismal 27-53 mark away from home last season.
This is the first time Oakland is not over .500 through seven
games since starting 2-10 in 2001, when the A's went on to win 102
games -- second to Seattle's 116 victories.
Mark Ellis added two hits with an RBI for the A's, who lost
their home opener before a sellout crowd of 44,815.
Toronto loaded the bases in the first when Saarloos plunked Shea
Hillenbrand with two outs, then Hinske hit a sharp two-run single
to left to give the Blue Jays the lead.
"Their hitters had a plan," A's manager Ken Macha said. "They
were patient. [Saarloos] didn't establish both sides of the
Chacin, who has won three of his four career starts, allowed
eight hits and two runs, struck out four and walked one. He has a
2.45 ERA with seven strikeouts and two walks in his two outings.
"He's got so many things," Gibbons said. "He's got great
composure for a young guy. We think we've got a pretty good one
Saarloos has made an impressive comeback after missing more than
two months of last season with bone spurs on his elbow. He came to
camp as a non-roster player, then surprisingly emerged as the fifth
The 25-year-old Saarloos, acquired by Oakland last April 17 in a
trade with Houston, lasted only 3 2/3 innings and looked nothing
like the pitcher who threw six shutout innings and allowed only one
hit in a 9-0 win at Baltimore last Wednesday.
"I left everything up and in the middle and they did a good job
of hitting," he said. "When I came out, I knew what I did wrong.
If I was hitting my spots it would have been different."
He gave up six runs and eight hits, struck out two and walked
three. A's rookie reliever Huston Street pitched two scoreless
innings, retiring all six batters he faced and striking out the
side in the eighth.
A's 3B Eric Chavez received his fourth Gold Glove before
the game, then was charged for a sixth-inning error when he bobbled
Hillenbrand's grounder. "I have never seen a third baseman -- he's
signed so I can say this -- as good as him," general manager Billy
Beane said. "He amazes me more and more each day." ... Injured
Oakland SS Bobby Crosby was honored with his AL Rookie of the Year
award from last season. He had mixed emotions given he's on the DL
with fractured ribs. He is icing the area four times a day and
can't do any baseball activity until he can breathe in completely
and not feel anything. "I'm trying to stay upbeat. It's a lot of
being bored," he said. "I don't know what to do with myself. It's
miserable." ... A's DH Erubiel Durazo got the day off.