A’s torch Blue Jays 16-0 for seventh straight win

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The A’s had a nice little thing going over the weekend in sweeping a four-game series against the Yankees. In all, they entered their series against Toronto having won five straight games by exactly one run.

Needless to say, they weren’t content with such efforts against the Blue Jays.

After beating Toronto 7-2 on Tuesday, the A’s handed the franchise its biggest shutout loss in team history Wednesday, winning 16-0.

The A’s busted out for eight runs in the second inning to knock Ricky Romero from the game. They ended up scoring in every inning except the fourth and seventh.

Included in the outburst was Coco Crisp’s third career multi-homer game. Every starter scored at least one run, and everyone except Jemile Weeks drove in a run.

The Jays were forced to turn to catcher Jeff Mathis to pitch the ninth. He gave up two runs and three hits, including Derek Norris’ first career double in his 69th at-bat.

The Jays’ loss eclipsed a 15-0 defeat at the hands of Balitmore in 2006 as the biggest shutout loss in franchise history. Romero gave up eight runs in 1 1/3 innings, the shortest outing of his career. Of the five career outings in which he’s allowed eight or more runs, three have come in the last month.

The A’s scored 16 runs for the first time since beating the Twins 16-1 on July 22, 2009. It was their first shutout win with as many as 16 runs scored since June 26, 2005 against the Giants.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.