Chris Colabello, Justin Smoak homer as Blue Jays cruise to 10th staight win
TORONTO -- After winning their 10th straight game, the Toronto Blue Jays are a first-place team.
That doesn't mean they're satisfied.
Toronto surged to the top of the AL East, beating the Oakland Athletics 10-3 Wednesday night behind a pair of three-run homers from Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak.
Josh Donaldson had two hits and two RBIs, boosting his ML-leading total to 85.
The Blue Jays trailed the Yankees by six games on July 31. But after making several bold trades, they have gone on a streak that included a sweep of New York, losing only once since Troy Tulowitzki joined the team to move a half-game up in the division.
"It's great, don't get me wrong, but I think everyone in this club wants to be in first place on Game 162," Colabello said. "That's what's important."
Toronto, which has not reached the playoffs since back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, has stirred excitement among its fans by going on a roll after adding Tulowitzki and David Price before the trade deadline.
Still, starter R.A. Dickey cautioned against any premature celebrations.
"We've got to keep things in perspective," Dickey said. "We still understand that we've got 10 more games against the Yankees, we've got games against the Orioles, people trying to catch us, so we're going to have to consistently be good."
Dickey (7-10) won his fourth straight decision, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings.
"He was due for some run support," manager John Gibbons said. "He deserved that."
Blue Jays starters have not allowed more than three earned runs in 16 straight games, two shy of the club record set in 1991.
Toronto, which won 11 straight in June, is the first team with two winning streaks of 10 games or more in single season since Atlanta in 2013. The last AL team to do it was Kansas City in 1977.
"I'm not amazed," Dickey said. "I feel like we're capable of consistently winning ball games."
Colabello gave Toronto an early lead with a drive off the third deck in the first, estimated at 420 feet.
Smoak's blast to center off Felix Doubront was the big blow in an 11-batter, seven-run second inning in which the first nine straight batters reached safely.
It was the major league-leading 11th time this season Toronto has scored six runs or more in a single inning. The Blue Jays also lead baseball with 17 games in which they've scored 10 or more.
The Blue Jays have homered in 11 consecutive games and 23 of 24 since the All-Star break. They've hit multiple homers in 14 of those 23.
Right-hander Aaron Brooks (1-1) had allowed just two earned runs in his previous two starts with the Athletics, but was hit hard by the Blue Jays for the second time in his career. Brooks allowed seven runs and didn't get out of the opening inning in his first big league start while pitching for Kansas City in 2014. This time, he gave up a career-worst eight runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings and saw his ERA rise from 2.41 to 5.75.
"A lot of balls in the middle of the plate," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "You've got a pretty hot hitting team and when you miss in the middle of the plate, you end up paying."
Former Blue Jays infielder Danny Valencia hit a solo homer, his third in six games since joining Oakland.
The Blue Jays are 10-1 in August with 16 games remaining this month. They went 9-17 in August, 2014.
DOOLITTLE GETTING CLOSER
Oakland LHP Sean Doolittle (shoulder) pitched one inning at Triple-A Nashiville on Tuesday, allowing a solo home run but striking out the side. Doolittle, who has been limited to one major league appearance this season, will pitch for Nashville again Friday and could rejoin the Athletics next week.
Athletics: SS Marcus Semien was held out of the starting lineup to get a break from the turf and keep him from facing Dickey's knuckleball. OF Coco Crisp also got the night off.
Blue Jays: 1B Edwin Encarnacion (left middle finger) sat out his third straight game but hopes to return Thursday.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (12-4, 2.06 ERA) will test his AL-leading ERA against the highest-scoring offense in the majors when he faces the Blue Jays. Gray is 8-1 with a 1.64 ERA in 12 road starts.
Blue Jays: LHP Mark Buehrle (12-5, 3.34 ERA) will have had six days of rest when he faces Oakland on Thursday afternoon. Manager John Gibbons pushed Buehrle back an extra day following Monday's off day because the veteran was "a little beat up" after his previous start.
TOR Wins 3-0
- Home Plate Umpire - Jeff Kellogg
- First Base Umpire - Brian O'Nora
- Second Base Umpire - Ryan Blakney
- Third Base Umpire - Mark Ripperger