Melky Cabrera couldn’t corral Nick Punto’s double with one out in the 12th inning, sending the Oakland Athletics to a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
Derek Norris was walked by Chad Jenkins (0-1) leading off the 12th inning. After Jed Lowrie lined out, Punto hit a slicing double down the line in left.
Cabrera moved to his right to cut off the ball, which squirted by his glove for an error. Norris scored from first for an odd ending to a game highlighted by stellar pitching performances by starters Tommy Milone of Oakland and Marcus Stroman and both bullpens.
Dan Otero (7-1), the fifth Oakland reliever to toss a scoreless inning, earned the win.
The pitchers quickly erased the few chances both teams had.
Stroman gave up seven hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked three.
Milone allowed four hits in six innings, striking out six and walking one intentionally. The left-hander is 6-0 in his last 11 starts and hasn’t lost since May 3 at Boston.
Jose Reyes singled on the game’s first pitch, but Milone didn’t allow another hit until Steve Tolleson doubled on a pop fly leading off the fifth that landed between three players battling the bright sky, which caused problems all day. Tolleson advanced to third on the second of two groundouts before Milone struck out Reyes.
Shortstop Jed Lowrie’s fielding error extended the sixth for Toronto. But Milone rebounded the way he had all afternoon, striking out Brad Glenn to strand two.
Stroman kept the A’s off-balanced and out of sync in similar fashion. He got some help from his defence, too.
With two on and two outs in the third, Cabrera made a diving catch on Yoenis Cespedes’ liner to left. Cabrera grabbed his midsection and jogged gingerly backed to the dugout.
Josh Donaldson started a double play by fielding Edwin Encarnacion’s grounder at third and threw from his backside to Punto at second base and the relay to first ended Toronto’s eighth.
Toronto caught its own defensive break when Brandon Moss sprained his left ankle coming out of the box, and the Blue Jays easily turned a double play to end the bottom of the inning. Moss did not return.
Oakland’s Ryan Cook, Fernando Abad, Sean Doolittle, Eric O’Flaherty and Luke Gregerson all pitched a scoreless inning. Toronto’s Chad Jenkins, Brett Cecil, Dustin McGowan and Aaron Loup combined to throw four scoreless innings.
NOTES: Blue Jays hitting coach Kevin Seitzer was ejected by home plate umpire Vic Carapazza in the sixth inning for apparently arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. ... A’s manager Bob Melvin said an MRI revealed that 1B Kyle Blanks has a slight tear in his left calf and is not expected back anytime soon. ... Scott Kazmir (9-3, 2.61 ERA) starts for Oakland opposite Toronto’s Mark Buehrle (10-5, 2.50 ERA) on Saturday.
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