The A’s blew a six-run eighth-inning lead and lost 11-10 on Marcus Semien’s walk-off three-run home run off Sergio Romo in Toronto Friday night for one of their most deflating losses of the season.
The A’s offense kept the momentum pumping to generate the big lead late, but the bullpen surrendered six runs in the eighth inning, punctuated by Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s game-tying grand slam.
Lou Trivino, in his first outing since he blew consecutive saves last month, walked leadoff batter Breyvic Valera, gave up a hit to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and hit Bo Bichette with a pitch to load the bases. Yusmeiro Petit walked in a run, and Gurriel Jr. launched his first pitch cutter for the grand slam to make it 8-8 heading into the ninth inning.
Mark Canha took back the momentum in the top of the ninth with a two-run home run. But Romo allowed a single to Valera and a double to George Springer before Semien ended the game with a blast to left field.
The A’s offense built a healthy lead against Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah, who struggled with his control. The A’s struck early, putting up two runs on Matt Chapman’s bases-loaded double in the first inning.
Manoah gave the A’s bench a scare in the fifth inning, hitting Starling Marte on the side of his helmet — much to the chagrin of the A’s bench, Manoah stayed in the game. Marte stayed in the game, too, taking his base. He and Josh Harrison, who was also hit on the hand by a pitch, scored on Matt Olson’s RBI double to give the A’s a 4-2 lead.
Mark Canha drew a walk from the wild Manoah and Tony Kemp hit a two-run home run to extend the A’s lead, knocking Manoah out of the game.
Oakland didn’t stop with Manoah out. Chapman struck again in the seventh inning, hitting a two-run single against Nate Pearson.
Sean Manaea answered a troubling August in which he accrued a 9.90 ERA by looking like his old self. A two-run home run to Teoscar Hernandez was the only mark on his seven-inning outing in which he threw just 86 pitches, struck out nine and walked none.
But the bullpen could not finish the job, allowing nine runs and getting only three outs when six were required.