Blue Jays' skid stretches to 5 games as Piscotty, Martinez lift Athletics to victory

Stephen Piscotty homered, Adrian Martinez struck out five over five solid innings, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Chapman, Hernandez homer in Toronto loss

Athletics' Stephen Piscotty, left, celebrates his solo home run during the fifth inning of a 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday. (Scott Strazzante/The Associated Press)

First-year manager Mark Kotsay walked up the tunnel after another impressive victory by his Athletics and tried to remember the last winning series at home.

"To be honest, I don't think I can reflect on it, so it does feel good to get a series win here at home," Kotsay said.

He couldn't recall because it had been nearly three months, since the club's first series at the Coliseum in April against Baltimore.

Stephen Piscotty homered and made a dazzling catch in right field, Adrian Martinez struck out five over five solid innings, and Oakland beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Tuesday night in Oakland, Calif.

Matt Chapman hit a tying two-run homer in the second against his former club, but the A's held on to secure a winning series for just the second time in their last 12. They won 5-1 in Monday's first game, snapping a 12-game skid in series openers that was one shy of the Oakland record accomplished three times previously, most recently in 1994.

In a team meeting of A's hitters before the July 4 series opener Monday, Kotsay suggested putting the season's first half in the past and making a fresh start.

The A's won 5-1 on Fourth of July and won again Tuesday.

"Yesterday was awesome, all the energy, July 4th, big crowd, I think some of that energy spilled over to today," Piscotty said. "We had a meeting, we're going to kind of put that first half behind us, eliminate it, learn from it so hopefully we have a better record at home as we go forward."

The A's loaded the bases with no outs in the third after Yusei Kikuchi allowed Nick Allen's leadoff walk, and then hit Ramon Laureano and Christian Bethancourt with pitches. Sean Murphy followed with a sacrifice fly.

Four relievers followed Martinez (2-1) and held Toronto in check, with Lou Trivino closing it out for his sixth save in seven opportunities. Trivino bounced back from a loss Saturday at Seattle that followed three straight saves.

Kikuchi (3-5), who went 1-0 with a 4.20 ERA over three starts versus Oakland last year, matched his season high with five walks in 2 1/3 innings. He was charged with four runs and two hits.

Teoscar Hernandez also homered for Toronto, which matched a season-high five-game losing streak.

Martinez, proud to represent Mexicali, Mexico, worked with pitching coach Scott Emerson after losing at Seattle last Thursday.

"I had more confidence in my pitches," he said.

Oakland police investigating after fans hurt by gunfire

Oakland police are investigating after fans were injured at Monday night's game between the Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays by "celebratory gunfire."

In a statement, the A's said officers were notified of a possible shooting in RingCentral Coliseum following a post-game Fourth of July fireworks display.

The A's said an initial investigation found three fans were struck by bullet fragments "from what appeared to be celebratory gunfire occurring throughout the city."

A fourth person later walked into a local hospital on their own. All four have non-life-threatening injuries, the team said.

The A's are offering a $20,000 US reward for information leading to an arrest.

Oakland defeated Toronto 5-1 Monday before a season-high crowd of 24,403 to kick off a three-game series between the teams.

With files from The Canadian Press

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