OAKLAND, Calif. — Matt Shoemaker sat in front of his locker late Saturday afternoon staring at a cellphone, his left knee wrapped tightly in a protective bandage. The Toronto pitcher was in no mood to talk, not after yet another injury that has imperiled his season.
That the Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics 10-1 to continue their successful road trip hardly seemed to matter.
With Shoemaker’s sprained knee scheduled for an MRI on Sunday, few in Toronto’s clubhouse were in the mood to celebrate.
"I just found out when the game was over," manager Charlie Montoyo said. "We’re going to find out tomorrow from the MRI how bad it is."
Shoemaker, sidelined in recent years by a series of injuries, was hurt while chasing Oakland’s Matt Chapman in the third inning. The 32-year-old starter applied the tag and spun around to avoid contact.
As he twirled, Shoemaker appeared to injure his knee.
Shoemaker hopped around before falling to the ground as a team trainer rushed out. He was down for several moments and sat with his head in his hands before being helped to his feet and off the field.
"You never want to see the pitcher involved but it happened," Montoyo said. "There’s nothing we can do about it right now. He’s a gamer. He got in there because he wanted to get the out."
Limited to seven starts last year with the Angels because a strained right forearm, Shoemaker entered the day 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA for his new team. In 2016, Shoemaker sustained a skull fracture when he was hit in the head by a line drive, and he’s had lingering forearm trouble for a while.
"He’s been great," said Toronto’s Sam Gaviglio, who got the win in relief of Shoemaker. "Every time he’s taken the mound he’s going deep in games. Every outing has been strong for him, even today until the incident occurred. Hopefully he’ll be back."
Rowdy Tellez and Brandon Drury hit back-to-back homers during a five-run fourth inning. Justin Smoak also homered and shortstop Freddy Galvis made an over-the-shoulder, barehanded catch as the Blue Jays won for the fifth time in six games on their road trip.
Athletics first baseman Kendrys Morales pitched the ninth in the blowout, allowing one run on two walks, a hit batter and a single. It was the second time the 35-year-old had pitched in the majors, having done it last year for Toronto against the A’s.
"I spent a lot of years in Cuba being a pitcher so I really enjoy it," Morales said through a translator. "I just try to do the best with the opportunity."
Toronto’s training staff was summoned again after just seven pitches by Gaviglio.
Gaviglio (2-0) was checked out briefly and remained in the game, throwing four scoreless innings to win.
"Just having a little bit of foot discomfort," Gaviglio said. "I just had to work through that."
Tellez homered off Mike Fiers (2-2) after Smoak and Teoscar Hernandez opened the fourth with consecutive singles. Two pitches later, Drury connected and Galvis added an RBI single.
Tellez and Drury teamed up again in the fifth with back-to-back doubles that made it 7-0. Smoak hit a two-run homer off Ryan Buchter in the sixth.
Galvis’ defensive gem ended the eighth and came after Josh Phegley lofted a flyball into short left. The crowd of 31,140 gave Galvis a rousing ovation.
"That’s awesome," Montoyo said. "That’s tough to do with the high sky and to catch a ball like that. I want to watch it again."
A’s reliever Fernando Rodney pitched the eighth inning, marking the 906th appearance of his career. That ties Rodney with Cy Young for 24th place all-time.
UMP TO FAN: YOU’RE OUT
The game was stopped twice by fans running onto the field. The second time came in the ninth inning when a man eluded security, ran between the bases and onto the mound before being grabbed and tossed to the ground by second base umpire Jeff Nelson.
Athletics: 1B Matt Olson is progressing in his recovery from hamate bone surgery in his right hand but there are no plans to rush him back. "We want him to be as close to 100 per cent," manager Bob Melvin said. … RHP Marco Estrada met with another doctor Friday regarding his lower lumbar strain injury and Melvin indicated it’s likely the pitcher will spend more than 10 days on the injured list. Chris Bassitt will take Estrada’s turn in the rotation Monday against Texas.
LHP Brett Anderson (3-0, 2.63 ERA) is off to his best start since 2012 and pitches for the A’s in the series finale Sunday. Anderson has a four-game winning streak dating to last season. RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.86) goes for the Blue Jays seeking his first win in five career appearances against Oakland.