TORONTO — Oakland's Bob Melvin called the 700th win of his managerial career “excruciating” and an “emotional roller coaster.”
Alberto Callaspo hit a tie-breaking, two-run double in the eighth inning, Brandon Moss had a two-run homer and the Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Sunday.
“We find a way to win the game, but it wasn't pretty,” Melvin said.
The Athletics won for the third time in seven games to remain one game behind division-leading Texas in the AL West.
“Every win is a huge win, especially from here on out,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “We're battling.”
Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick, who homered five times in the first two games of the series, was moved up to fifth in the order but didn't connect again. He went 1 for 3 with two walks.
Facing left-hander Darren Oliver (3-3) with runners at first and second and two outs in the eighth, Callaspo hit a drive to deep left. Emilio Bonifacio almost made a leaping catch at the wall, but the ball ticked off the side of his glove. A second run scored without a play at the plate when shortstop Jose Reyes dropped Bonifacio's relay throw.
“I thought (Bonifacio) was going to catch it,” Callaspo said. “I hit the ball pretty good but not enough to go out. I'm happy he didn't catch that.”
Vogt followed with an infield single and pinch-hitter Chris Young chased Oliver with an RBI single before Brad Lincoln came on and got Eric Sogard to fly out.
Ryan Cook (4-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win, Sean Doolittle worked the eighth and Grant Balfour pitched around Brett Lawrie's RBI double in a 37-pitch, 26-minute bottom of the ninth for his 30th save in 31 chances. Balfour got Reyes to ground out with the bases loaded for the final out.
“I was horrible today, no doubt about it,” Balfour said. “I got the job done, that's the main thing.”