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Athletics’ ability to hit, finish games remains to be found as Blue Jays complete sweep

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Oakland Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso, seen here on March 30, has been struggling in the second half. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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The second half hasn’t been kind to three of the Oakland Athletics’ best hitters.

Yonder Alonso sported a .934 OPS before the All-Star Break. In 12 games since, he’s logged a .644 (on-base plus slugging percentage) figure. The drop off is even worse for Ryon Healy (from .804 to .328) and Jed Lowrie (.805 to .536).

During a four-game series in Toronto, the trio went 4-for-42 (.095). Accordingly, the A’s offense struggled to score runs and the team was swept as the Blue Jays won Thursday, 8-4.

Finishing games while maintaining the lead was another issue for Oakland in the set of games north of the border.

In the finale, Blake Treinen — throwing in place of Santiago Casilla, who blew Wednesday’s game — attempted to complete a four-out save. Instead, he surrendered a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth.

“We’re just having trouble finishing off games,” manager Bob Melvin told reporters after his team blew the fifth save of its last six opportunities.

Starter Sean Manaea logged a quality start, lasting seven innings while allowing three runs.

The other bright spot for the A’s was Marcus Semien, who reached base four times. The 26-year old shortstop had had a .261 batting average since returning to the active roster on July 6.

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