Edwin Encarnacion's face showed signs of anguish, the result of a right quad strain that will keep him out of the all-star game and, more importantly, out of the Toronto lineup for at least two weeks.
Encarnacion was on the bench Sunday when the Oakland Athletics completed a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays with a 4-2 victory. Toronto fell two games behind the American League East Division-leading Baltimore Orioles.
"It hurts us not having him on the team," said Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, who was also chosen to the AL all-star team, along with left-hander Mark Buehrle.
"The No. 1 priority is to get him better."
The Blue Jays managed just five hits against Jeff Samardzija, who made his Oakland debut, and closer Sean Doolittle. Without Encarnacion in the lineup, Bautista doesn't have the same support.
"I'm happy to be named an all-star," Encarnacion said. "I won't be playing.
"I will be working my leg to get back to the field as soon as I can."
Encarnacion was injured in the first inning of Saturday's loss after he drove in a run.
Bautista, nursing a hamstring injury, made a rare start at first base in Encarnacion's place.
"It was sore but I was able to run and make plays," Bautista said. "It shouldn't be too long before I'm back in right field."
'Throw me in the fire'
Depending on the way things change over the next week, Bautista said he is ready to play anywhere, whether it be the outfield, first base or third base.
"Throw me in the fire," he said. "If playing third gives us our best lineup, so be it.
"We can't afford to be picky. We have to strap it on and do it."
The Blue Jays managed four runs during the four-game series, which included a 1-0 loss in 12 innings on Friday.
"We got shut down big time," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We had chances, it didn't happen.
"We're just not producing."
'Threw the ball well'
Toronto got a stellar outing from starter Drew Hutchison but, for the fourth straight game, had little success offensively. The Blue Jays went 0-18 with runners in scoring position during the series.
"I thought I threw the ball well except for the two walks in the sixth," Hutchison said. "The only pitch I'd like back is the 1-2 change that went for a double."
Hutchison (6-7) struck out four and walked two in his first career start against the A's.
Samardzija arrived at the ballpark nearly five hours before making his first start with his new ballclub and pitched seven strong innings to win his Oakland debut.
"First impressions are always important," said Samardzija after lowering his overall earned-run average to 2.74.
"Like I said yesterday, they didn't need me here. They were doing just fine without me.
"I don't want to come in and change anything and change the atmosphere. I just want to come in and add and do my part," he said.
Samardzija did just that, giving up four hits and one run with five strikeouts and one walk while earning his first win since June 7.
He was 2-7 with Chicago, despite a 2.83 ERA, and voted to the National League all-star team, but won't pitch and will spend the game in the AL dugout.
"He was excited as you could be," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "It was great to get him off to a good start like that.
Samardzija, acquired a day earlier, received several standing ovations. He was cheered during pre-game warmups and again after striking out the side in the seventh.
The veteran pitcher was equally excited after receiving some early run support, something that was scarce in Chicago. The Cubs scored two runs or fewer in 11 of his 17 starts in the NL this season.
Oakland had no such issue.
'That was awesome'
Jed Lowrie had two hits and scored twice and leadoff hitter John Jaso added a pair of hits and a run batted in for the A's, who won their fourth straight after getting swept in three games at Detroit.
Stephen Vogt singled and tripled to help the A's complete their first series sweep of the Blue Jays since taking a three-game series in 2000. Oakland hadn't swept a four-game series from Toronto since May 22-24, 1981.
"It was beautiful, man, that was awesome," Samardzija said. "Just getting one early run as a pitcher is the best thing ever.
"You can go out and pound the zone and understand if a guy gets on base so be it. And the way [the A's] take at-bats is outstanding."
Nate Freiman and Craig Gentry also drove in runs for the A's.
Lowrie doubled and scored in the second, then Oakland added two more in the fourth to extend their majors-leading record to 55-33.
Pinch-hitter Derek Norris added an RBI double in the eighth for Oakland.
Steve Tolleson had a pinch-hit home run off A's closer Sean Doolittle in the ninth for the Blue Jays, who have lost six straight on the road. Doolittle got his 13th save.
'Pound the zone'
Oakland general manager Billy Beane got Samardzija and pitcher Jason Hammel for a package of prospects that included the two most recent first-round draft picks by the A's.
Samardzija pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first by getting Bautista to ground into an inning-ending double play.
"That was probably one of the biggest pitches of the game for me," Samardzija said. "It allowed me to relax and then to come out and put a few on the board.
"I was able to relax and pound the zone."
Samardzija retired 13 of the next 14 batters he faced until Jose Reyes singled with one out in the sixth. Munenori Kawasaki followed with a double and Melky Cabrera's groundout scored Reyes.