OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Brett Cecil yielded five hits over eight impressive innings to earn his first major league victory, Alex Rios drove in three runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics 5-0 on Sunday for their seventh win in 10 games.
Rios hit a solo homer, a sacrifice fly and a ninth-inning RBI single to back Cecil (1-0). The 22-year-old left-hander struck out six in his second big league start for Toronto, which headed home from its five-game California road swing alone atop the AL East.
Dallas Braden (3-4) gave up nine hits and three runs in six innings for the A's, who have lost six of eight. At 11-18 with the AL's worst offense in several categories, the A's have matched their second-worst start since moving to Oakland in 1968.
Injuries forced the Blue Jays to reconfigure their rotation recently, but the replacements have been phenomenal so far. Cecil followed up reliever Brian Tallet's outstanding seven-inning start Saturday with a gem of his own, never allowing Oakland's seven baserunners to reach third.
Cecil, a supplemental first-round pick in 2007, pitched six strong innings in his major league debut in Toronto last Tuesday.
Rios ended his 2-for-18 slump on Toronto's road trip with his third homer of the season in the third inning. He drove in Jose Bautista with a bases-loaded fly to deep right-center in the fifth. Aaron Hill and Rios added run-scoring singles in the ninth.
Braden pitched through a scary moment in the first inning when a drive by Vernon Wells hit the left-hander squarely in the right shoulder. Braden dropped to the grass as Wells joined the A's clustered around the pitcher, but Braden stayed in the game.
The only solid starter in the A's painfully young rotation prevented any big rallies by Toronto's potent offense, but Braden's teammates were shut out for the third time in his starts already this season. The A's scored just one run last Tuesday while Braden was in the game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Jason Giambi, who raised his meager batting average 15 points and tripled his season total with two homers in Saturday's loss, went 0 for 4 on Sunday to stay at 399 career homers.