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TOR@OAK: Moscoso fans seven over eight innings

OAKLAND -- A's right-hander Guillermo Moscoso pitched one of the best games of his career on Sunday, but it wasn't good enough against Toronto and rookie left-hander Luis Perez.

Moscoso pitched a career-high eight innings and allowed just three hits, but one of those hits was a home run off the bat of Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, and Toronto rode that seventh-inning blast to a 1-0 victory.

Perez, making his first career Major League start, allowed just one hit while blanking the A's over six innings. He held the A's hitless until second baseman Jemile Weeks lined a single to center with one out and runners on first and second in the sixth inning. Casey Janssen held the A's hitless over the final three innings, striking out five and earning the save.

"Sometimes you're going to have great days like this and you're going to get the loss," Moscoso said. "That was today."

Moscoso gave up a sharp single to center to Blue Jays leadoff hitter Aaron Hill in the first inning. But after that, he held Toronto hitless until catcher J.P. Arencibia lined a leadoff double to deep center that Coco Crisp couldn't track down. Moscoso escaped that jam, retiring the next three hitters, but Bautista led off the seventh with his Major League-leading 36th home run of the season.

"That's the thing about this game that stinks," A's catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "Guillermo pitched that good and came away with a loss. It was one of those things where you can't really explain it. It's tough.

"I thought his fastball command was probably the best it's been in a while. When I talk to him or any of the pitchers, I say fastball command is important. You throw that fastball in there, and everything works off of that. He had a good fastball today and kept the ball out of the middle of the plate."

Bautista worked the count full and then sent a Moscoso breaking ball deep into the left-field seats.

"It was thrown for a ball," Moscoso said. "I was making quality pitches, and that was a quality pitch. But he's been one of the best hitters for a couple of years. He got me."

Perez had retired the first 15 A's he faced before issuing a leadoff walk to Cliff Pennington in the sixth. Suzuki tried to sacrifice bunt, but he didn't bunt the ball hard enough, and Arencibia forced Pennington at second.

After Scott Sizemore walked, Weeks ripped a single to center, loading the bases, but Crisp hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

"It had good movement," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Perez's fastball. "The run on his fastball away from our righties was really effective. We really only had the one opportunity. He made a great pitch to Coco. He hit it hard, but it had enough movement away and down where it ended up being a double-play ball, and that was really the deciding play at that point of the game. He made a great pitch to a guy who comes through in those situations quite often."

Perez had appeared in 29 games this season before Sunday, all as a reliever. He had pitched 43 2/3 innings and had a 3.71 ERA entering his first start, but had never gone more than four innings in the Major Leagues.

"I felt fine in that inning," Perez, speaking through an interpreter, said of the sixth. "I wasn't feeling tired or anything like that. I was glad that I was given the opportunity in that inning to pitch with the bases loaded. I knew that I had to throw my best pitch to get a ground ball, which I did, a sinker."

Melvin came away impressed by both starting pitchers.

"Both those guys pitched really well today," Melvin said. "You've got to give them both credit. When you have well-pitched games like that, it looks like the offense is down and everybody's dragging a little bit. But both pitchers were terrific. One pitch ended up deciding the game, and looking at it, it wasn't a horrible pitch. It was on the outer third of the plate, and it was to the leading home run hitter."

Bautista led the Major Leagues with 54 home runs last year, and he's leading the home run race again this season.

"Today's not the first time he has knotted a game up or broken a tie late," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He has that kind of, not only presence in our lineup, but the ability to do it at key points in the game, and today was no different." Comments