Blue Jays unable to counter late as Pache’s 2-run homer proves winner for Athletics

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A slip in speed and a lack of command were worrisome signs for Blue Jays starter Hyun Jin Ryu. A complaint of pain in the left forearm was much more concerning.

The veteran southpaw struggled for a second straight appearance on Saturday, allowing six hits and five earned runs in a 7-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

Manager Charlie Montoyo said he pulled Ryu after four innings because of the score, but was told after the game about his arm.

“Of course we are worried,” Montoyo said. “We’ll see how he feels.”

Ryu received post-match treatment and was unavailable to speak to reporters. The team will likely provide a status update on Sunday.

Ryu allowed six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in a 12-6 loss to Texas last weekend. He threw 33 of his 53 pitches for strikes against the Athletics.

After he left, relievers Trent Thornton, David Phelps and Yimi Garcia provided four white frames before Julian Merryweather gave up a game-breaking two-run homer to Christian Pache in the ninth inning.

“I love talking about Pache,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “He has all the tools.”

After Christian Bethancourt reached a one-out single, Pache hit a 1-0 fastball that barely went over the wall into right field for his first homer of the season.

Dany Jimenez (1-0) worked the eighth inning for the win and Lou Trivino recorded the final three outs for his second stoppage.

Both pitchers hit the side with a strike zone that Montoyo expressed his displeasure with in the eighth inning, recovering an ejection from umpire Jeff Nelson.

“We’re a team that doesn’t really argue a lot,” Montoyo said. “But I watch the game and I felt I had to protect my players. That’s exactly what it was.”

Toronto recover from a 4-point deficit

Sean Murphy homered and scored twice for Oakland (5-4). Matt Chapman and Zack Collins went deep for the Blue Jays (5-4), who had recovered from a four-point deficit early on.

“We have to find a way to get the job done no matter what, but we definitely had some tough breaks there,” Chapman said.

A clean opening frame from Ryu was followed by a rocky start to round two. Oakland recorded four straight hits — including doubles from Murphy, Kevin Smith and Christian Bethancourt — to take a 3-1 lead.

The Athletics tacked on two extra runs in the third when Murphy hit a pitch into the second tier of seats in left center field. The homerun ball was returned to the field much to the delight of the fans in the standing room section.

Quality hits against reliever Domingo Acevedo helped Toronto tie the game in the sixth inning.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., scored a single and scored when Chapman threw a first-pitch fastball for his second homer of the year. Collins took Acevedo’s next offer deep for his first home run as a Blue Jay.

Oakland starter Paul Blackburn allowed five hits and two earned runs while striking out three in five innings.

Announced attendance was 32,330 and the match lasted three hours and five minutes.

Chapman, who was acquired from Oakland last month, received his 2021 Gold Glove award before the game.

Kotsay and on-field coach Eric Martins joined him near the mound for the presentation.

The Toronto third baseman has earned three American League honors in five seasons.

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