Scott Kazmir was once again brilliant Saturday night, recovering from a rocky first inning to mow down Toronto hitters en route to his fifth consecutive victory at O.co Coliseum.
The southpaw tossed seven innings of one-run ball to earn his tenth win of the season as the A’s topped the Blue Jays for the third consecutive day with a 5-1 victory.
“If you can get to him early, you probably need to because once he gets his rhythm going he gets awfully tough,” said Bob Melvin.
Josh Donaldson had an impressive night of his own, smashing a home run to straightaway center field in the third inning, and adding an exceptional catch diving into the tarp in foul territory down the left field line in the eighth.
The catch was a near carbon copy of the incredible play he made against the Texas Rangers in 2013 that inspired a bobble head giveaway and an A’s commercial in which he and the tarp had a therapy session.
“I don’t know how to compare them, I know this one was a lot lower so I had less time to get there,” said Donaldson. “It almost won the battle tonight. I felt like a running back trying to score a touchdown there, but I think I would have lost that battle and got stopped at the goal line.”
“He’s one of the tougher players in the American League, he doesn’t think twice about laying completely out and putting his body at risk,” said Melvin. “That was a hell of a play.”
The newest member of the green and gold, right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija, arrived at the Coliseum in the second inning and gave a brief press conference before joining his teammates in the dugout. The tough-luck power thrower who is the owner of a 2-7 record despite having a 2.83 ERA was obviously excited to be joining the team with the most runs scored and best record in Major League Baseball.
“I was ecstatic,” said Samardzija of hearing the news that he was traded to the A’s in a blockbuster deal Friday night. “I’m a big fan of the Bay Area, I love it out here. I’m coming to a team that has done plenty fine without me and I’m just looking to do my part.”
Samardzija will make his debut with the A’s Sunday afternoon, looking to guide his new club to a 4-game sweep over the Blue Jays, who entered the series in first place in the AL east. He will be opposed on the mound by Drew Hutchinson (6-6, 3.81) with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PST.