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.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.