Semien hits walk-off HR, Jays rally three times to beat A’s

Sep 3, 2021, 8:32 AM | Updated: 10:58 pm

TORONTO (AP) — Marcus Semien hit a game-ending three-run homer in the ninth inning after Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a tying grand slam in the eighth, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied three times to stun the Oakland Athletics 11-10 Friday night.

“We just woke up,” Semien said.

Semien connected off Sergio Romo (1-1) for his career-best 34th home run of the season, sparking a wild celebration at home plate.

“It’s huge,” said Semien, who delivered against the club that let him leave as a free agent last offseason. “Every win is so important right now. Biggest at-bat of the year for me, obviously.”

Oakland dropped three games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race. Toronto remains five games back of the Red Sox, who beat Cleveland 8-4 Friday.

The Blue Jays have won nine of the past 11 meetings with Oakland, dating to 2019.

“It was awesome,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “What a great win.”

Toronto’s Teoscar Hernández hit a tying two-run homer in the fourth before Oakland pulled away for an 8-2 lead. Gurriel’s slam capped a six-run eighth against Lou Trivino and Yusmeiro Petit to tie it again.

Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano (7-1) gave up Mark Canha’s two-run home run in the top of the ninth before Romo allowed a single, a double and Semien’s shot.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. fueled the eighth-inning surge with an RBI single off Trivino, who left after loading the bases. Petit came on and walked Alejandro Kirk, then gave up a first-pitch homer to Gurriel.

Matt Olson reached on an infield single to begin the ninth. Romano struck out the next two batters, but Canha lined his first pitch off the foul screen in left, his 15th.

Tony Kemp added a two-run homer for the Athletics, his sixth. He and teammate Khris Davis had dinner with Semien on Thursday night. Semien agreed to an $18 million, one-year deal with Toronto in January.

Oakland’s collapse denied left-hander Sean Manea his first victory since July 28. After going 0-3 with a 9.90 ERA in five August starts, Manea allowed two runs and five hits. He walked none and struck out nine.

“I felt really good,” Manea said. “My tempo, I felt, was a lot better than it has been recently.”

Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah allowed six runs and five hits in five-plus innings.

The benches cleared briefly after Manoah hit batters with consecutive pitches in the fifth. Josh Harrison flipped his bat in frustration after being hit with a high and tight fastball, and he was visibly angry after Manoah’s next offering hit Starling Marte on the side of the helmet.

Players came out of the dugout as trainers tended to a fallen Marte at home plate. Marte remained in the game and scored from first on Olson’s tiebreaking double.

“We don’t think it’s a concussion,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s more just sore to the touch right now, no headache, anything like that. It looked ugly.”

Skye Bolt replaced Marte in center field in the bottom half of the inning.

Manoah leads Blue Jays pitchers with 11 hit batters in 79 1/3 innings.

Kemp chased Manoah when he connected in the sixth.


Gurriel is the fourth player in Blue Jays history to hit three grand slams in a season, joining Carlos Delgado (1997), Darrin Fletcher (2000), and Edwin Encarnacion (2015).


Many in the crowd of 14,843 booed Harrison in his two final plate appearances. Harrison made a show of bowing and tipping his helmet to fans behind the first base dugout after grounding out in the eighth.


Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling (strained left oblique) threw live batting practice before the game. Stripling’s next step will be a minor league rehab assignment.


Blue Jays: Toronto claimed INF/OF Jake Lamb on waivers from the Chicago White Sox and recalled LHP Kirby Snead from Triple-A Buffalo. Toronto designated RHP Conor Overton for assigment to open a 40-man roster spot for Lamb.

Athletics: Oakland recalled LHP Sam Moll from Triple-A Las Vegas and placed RHP Frankie Montas on the restricted list. Montas was unable to travel to Canada with the team because of a visa issue.


RHP José Berríos (9-7, 3.53) starts for the Blue Jays on Saturday against Oakland RHP Paul Blackburn (0-1, 2.81). Berríos is 0-3 in six career games against the Athletics.


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