OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - On a day Oakland struggled to generate much offense, the Athletics were thrilled to learn after the game that cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes has only a strained muscle on the top of his left hand and no broken bone.
``I am very happy to know it is not a significant injury,' said the Cuban slugger, who might try to hit before Thursday's series opener with the Detroit Tigers to determine his availability.
Brandon Morrow (4-1) struck out a season-high 10 in six innings and won his fourth straight start, outpitching former college teammate Tyson Ross in Toronto's 5-2 win Wednesday. He was backed by three home runs, including Adam Lind's two-run drive in the fourth to put his team on the board.
It was a matchup of former college stars from nearby California who pitched together in 2006. Morrow went a career-best 23 2-3 innings without allowing a run before Jonny Gomes hit an RBI single in the fifth for Oakland's first run. Josh Reddick singled in a run in the seventh.
J.P. Arencibia homered leading off the seventh, this time coming through with a key hit in a close game. Manager John Farrell lifted him for pinch-hitter Omar Vizquel with the go-ahead run on third in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's 7-3 loss - so delivering this time had to be a nice boost.
Edwin Encarnacion started the eighth with his 10th homer, ending an 0-for-21 funk and helping Toronto snap a three-game skid on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Colby Rasmus had an RBI single in the sixth that chased Ross (1-3).
Oakland didn't do much against Morrow, but received good news about Cespedes. He was scratched about an hour before Tuesday's game after injuring the hand in batting practice.
``That's great more so for peace of mind for the entire team,' Brandon Inge said. ``You don't want to lose a bat like that.'
Five of Morrow's Ks came on called third strikes and he owns a sparkling 0.67 ERA during the four-start winning streak, allowing two earned runs over 27 2-3 innings.
He wasn't happy with four walks - half of his eight coming into this start. He had walked only one batter over his previous three outings.
``I wasn't as sharp as I have been. I walked too many guys and it hurt me in the fifth. I didn't have a good slider today and that probably affected things. My stuff was still good,' he said. ``It's always fun to come here. I always have family and friends who show up. I got a few texts from my coaches at Cal and then there are friends who show up unannounced.'
The A's couldn't pull off the late-game rally this time. Oakland took the opener of the quick two-game series on Inge's game-ending grand slam against Francisco Cordero, who was demoted from his closer job before Wednesday's game. Handed the ninth-inning duties by Farrell, Casey Janssen finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save in two tries this year.
Farrell also dropped Lind to the eighth hole in the batting order to try to generate some offense. Lind - who came in hitless in seven at_bats, with just two hits in his past 29 at_bats and mired in a 5-for-37 funk overall - singled in the second and put his team ahead with a two-run drive into the right-field bleachers.
``Adam responded well to the move in the lineup,' Farrell said. ``It was just nice to score some runs.'
Ross was done after 5 2-3 innings, tagged for three runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked three as Oakland's three-game winning streak ended.
``I was a little shaky in the first but found that rhythm and settled in a little bit,' Ross said.
A's catcher Kurt Suzuki had a scheduled day off, but the timing was good considering he got hit in the left hand and then also the thumb Tuesday night.
``It's a little sore, but when aren't you sore?' Suzuki said.
NOTES: The A's dropped to 5-2 in May. ... Oakland's Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington pulled off a double steal in the first. ... A's opening day starter Brandon McCarthy, skipped in the rotation because of a sore right shoulder, is set to throw a bullpen session Thursday to determine if he can start Saturday vs. Detroit as he hopes. ``We'll take it step by step,' pitching coach Curt Young said. ... Toronto returns for a four-game set here Aug. 2-5. That will give Blue Jays INF and former Giants SS Omar Vizquel more time to catch up with pals from San Francisco. He is retiring at the end of the season and relishing each road trip these days. ... A's manager Bob Melvin on facing Detroit: ``They're loaded. They're one of the elite teams in the American League.'... Someone chanted ``Barry Zito!' in the eighth inning. The $126 million Giants LHP won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award while with the A's.
The Associated Press News Service
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