|Home|||||Scoreboard|||||Stats|||||Standings|||||Teams|||||Players|||||Player News|||||Injuries|||||Transactions|||||Live Odds|
|7:07 PM PT8:07 PM MT9:07 PM CT10:07 PM ET22:07 ET2:07 GMT10:07 7:07 PM MST9:07 PM EST9:37 PM VEN6:07 UAE (+1)9:07 PM CT, April 19, 2019
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California Attendance: 15,128
Invigorated Blue Jays ready for well-rested A's
One team carries the momentum of a series win, the other the emotional lift of a signing when the visiting Toronto Blue Jays and well-rested Oakland Athletics open a three-game series Friday night.
The A's were off Thursday, their third day without a game in the last six, while the Blue Jays were wrapping up their first series win of the season with a 7-4 triumph at Minnesota.
The Blue Jays won three of four in the series, with Teoscar Hernandez contributing to all three wins with a three-run homer in the Monday opener, a two-run single and game-ending outfield assist Tuesday and a solo homer Thursday.
Another driving force for Toronto in the series was Eric Sogard, the so-called "Face of the Franchise" when he began his career with the A's.
Promoted from Triple-A this week and immediately penciled into the leadoff spot, Sogard had six hits, including two doubles, in the last three games, scored twice and drove in three runs.
"He's definitely had some success in the past in the majors and down in (Triple-A) Buffalo so far," Blue Jays assistant general manager Joe Sheehan told reporters about Sogard batting leadoff. "It's nice to see. Some of his at-bats have been really good to ignite from the leadoff spot."
The Blue Jay scored 19 runs in the Minnesota series, which is 13 more than they've scored in right-hander Marcus Stroman's four starts.
The right-hander (0-3, 1.99) will make a fifth attempt at a first win of the season against the A's, against whom he has never won, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts.
One member of the Oakland team that Stroman is sure to face is designated hitter Khris Davis, the major league leader in home runs with 10.
Davis was rewarded with a two-year contract extension on Thursday worth a reported $33.5 million.
A formal press conference to announce the signing has been scheduled for prior to Friday's game.
Davis, who led the majors with 48 homers last season, credits Ken Griffey Jr. for his recent power surge. He says he's now standing taller, but with his hands lower, than at the beginning of his career, resembling Griffey.
"I think the swing changed with the stance," he noted to reporters earlier this week. "When I had my hands higher, the doubles weren't home runs. Now, the doubles are home runs."
Davis has contributed to Stroman's career struggles against the A's, going 3-for-6 with a home run, three RBIs and three walks.
Stroman will be opposed by A's right-hander Aaron Brooks (2-1, 4.24), who has received 15 runs of support in his two wins.
That's the same number of runs Brooks allowed in two previous starts against the Blue Jays, games in 2014 and 2015 in which he had to be pulled in the first and second innings.
He lost both those games while compiling a 57.86 ERA.
If there's good news for Brooks, it's that the only current member of the Blue Jays who he's ever faced -- Justin Smoak -- was struck out in their one career head-to-head.
The A's are coming off a 1-1 series split with the Houston Astros that opened an eight-game homestand. Frankie Montas and two relievers combined to end Houston's 10-game winning streak with a 2-1 triumph on Wednesday night.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 18, 2019