After missing almost the entire 2017 season with blisters on his pitching hand and much of 2018 with an injured right index finger that needed surgery, Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez could be forgiven for being concerned when he was forced from a start at Oakland last weekend because of a broken fingernail.
He recovered to allow two hits over five innings Saturday in the Blue Jays’ 7-1 win over the Athletics.
“When I came out last game, we kind of caught it at the right time so it was fine going into today,” he said. “It just bothers me a little bit and I was only going five, but it will be all right.”
Sanchez (3-1) struck out four and walked four. He lowered his ERA to 2.32.
Sam Gaviglio gave up two hits in three innings, and Daniel Hudson finished the four-hitter with a hitless ninth.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts in his second big league game, while Brandon Drury had three hits a day after his winning ninth-inning home run. Randal Grichuk and three hits and two RBIs for Toronto, 5-0 against the A’s this season.
Brett Anderson (3-2) allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings, dropping to 0-3 in his career against Toronto.
“My velocity was the best it has been all year,” he said. “It was coming out of my hand good, I just wasn’t able to command it like I usually am.”
Anderson became the first pitcher to face Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Sr., who was 1 for 5 against him.
Guerrero was moved up a slot to cleanup and came to the plate with the bases loaded in the first. Teoscar Hernández grounded to third baseman Matt Chapman, who threw to second for a forceout, but second baseman Jurickson Profar’s throw to first trying for a double play was sailed to the home plate side of the base for an error that allowed a second run to score. Umpires originally called interference on Grichuk sliding into Profar, but the call was reversed on a video review.
Toronto doubled its lead in the second when Eric Sogard drove in Danny Jansen with a drag bunt and Grichuk hit an RBI single.
“We have plenty of guys who can hit the long ball, but I think adding the small ball game into it is only going to make us better,” Sogard said.
Nick Hundley hit into a run-scoring forceout in the fifth, but Toronto boosted its lead to 6-1 in the bottom half on Rowdy Tellez’s RBI single and Jansen’s sacrifice fly.
Grichuk hit an RBI double off Liam Hendriks in the sixth.
On Hundley’s seventh-inning single between first and second base, Drury started to run toward the ball only to collide with umpire Larry Vanover.
RHP Chris Bassitt (1-0) starts Sunday for Oakland and RHP Trent Thornton (0-3) for Toronto. Thornton, seeking his first big league win, has allowed 13 runs in 12 2/3 innings.
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