TORONTO — A slip in velocity and lack of command were worrying signs for Blue Jays starter Hyun Jin Ryu. A complaint of left forearm soreness was of much greater concern.
The veteran southpaw struggled for a second straight appearance Saturday, giving up six hits and five earned runs in a 7-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
Manager Charlie Montoyo said he pulled Ryu after four innings because of the score but got word after the game about his arm.
"Of course we're concerned," Montoyo said. "We're going to see how he feels."
Ryu received treatment after the game and was not available to speak to reporters. The team will likely provide an update on his status on Sunday.
Ryu allowed six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in a 12-6 loss to Texas last weekend. He threw 33 of his 53 pitches for strikes against the Athletics.
After his departure, relievers Trent Thornton, David Phelps and Yimi Garcia provided four shutout frames before Julian Merryweather gave up a tiebreaking two-run homer to Christian Pache in the ninth inning.
“I love talking about Pache," said Athletics manager Mark Kotsay. "He’s got all the tools."
After Christian Bethancourt reached on a one-out single, Pache hit a 1-0 fastball that barely cleared the wall in right field for his first homer of the season.
Dany Jimenez (1-0) worked the eighth inning for the win and Lou Trivino recorded the final three outs for his second save.
Both pitchers struck out the side with a strike zone that Montoyo voiced his displeasure with in the eighth inning, picking up an ejection from umpire Jeff Nelson.
"We're a team that doesn't really argue that much," Montoyo said. "But I'm watching the game and I felt like I have to protect my players. That's just what it was."
Sean Murphy homered and doubled for Oakland (5-4). Matt Chapman and Zack Collins went deep for the Blue Jays (5-4), who had clawed back from an early four-run deficit.
"We need to find a way to get the job done no matter what but we definitely got some tough breaks there," Chapman said.
A clean opening frame by Ryu was followed by a rough start to the second inning. Oakland recorded four straight hits -- including doubles by Murphy, Kevin Smith and Christian Bethancourt -- to take a 3-1 lead.
The Athletics tacked on two more runs in the third when Murphy smacked a pitch into the second level of seats in left-centre field. The home-run ball was thrown back on the field to the delight of fans in the standing-room section.
Quality two-out hitting against reliever Domingo Acevedo helped Toronto tie the game in the sixth inning.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., singled and scored when Chapman turned on a first-pitch fastball for his second homer of the year. Collins took Acevedo's next offering deep for his first home run as a Blue Jay.
Oakland starter Paul Blackburn allowed five hits and two earned runs while striking out three over five innings.
Announced attendance was 32,330 and the game took three hours five minutes to play.
Chapman, who was acquired from Oakland last month, received his 2021 Gold Glove award before the game.
Kotsay and infield coach Eric Martins joined him near the mound for the presentation.
The Toronto third baseman has earned the American League fielding honour three times over five seasons.
The Blue Jays kicked off a big sports day for Toronto teams with the mid-afternoon start.
The NBA's Raptors began a first-round playoff series later in the day against the Philadelphia 76ers. The NHL's Maple Leafs were in Ottawa for a night game against the Senators and Major League Soccer's Toronto FC visited the Philadelphia Union.
Right-handers are scheduled to square off in the three-game series finale on Sunday afternoon.
Alek Manoah (1-0, 0.00 ERA) gets the start for Toronto against Adam Oller (0-0, 33.75). Manoah struck out seven over six shutout innings in his first start last Monday, a 3-0 road victory over the New York Yankees.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2022.
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press