Oakland Athletics offense wakes up as Edwin Jackson wins 100th game

OAKLAND — Soon after Edwin Jackson earned his 100th career win, he turned his attention to one of the few constants in his ever-shifting life — his six-year-old son, Exavier.

As Jackson — now pitching for the Oakland A’s after playing for 12 other MLB clubs — has chased the milestone over the past few weeks, his family has followed him from the Bay Area to Cleveland to Texas, hoping to witness him reach a mark he said he never envisioned. So, after celebrating in the clubhouse with teammates he never expected to play with, Jackson handed a ball with the number 100 on it to Exavier.

“Right now it may not be a big deal [to him], but when he gets older he’ll be able to look back on this moment and be glad he had a chance to experience,” Jackson said. “[My family has] been pretty much traveling around the last month and a half waiting for me to get [100 wins], and to be able to do it at home the last week they’re here in front of the home crowd, it makes it that much more special.”

Jackson went 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking three to highlight Oakland’s 10-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Though he admitted he didn’t have his best stuff — he walked the first two batters of the game — it was a much-needed performance after the A’s were swept this past weekend by the Colorado Rockies.

“This was an important win for us,” manager Bob Melvin said.  “Guy comes into a team, his 13th organization, and from day one fits in like he’s been here for a few years. So everybody is pretty excited for him, and I know he’s excited. One-hundred wins is a lot of wins.”

Oakland outfielders Mark Canha and Stephen Piscotty each delivered two hits and a home run to bolster an offensive effort that surpassed the A’s run total in three games in Denver (four runs), when they were swept by the Colorado Rockies. However, the Blue Jays — currently far outside the playoff race — provided plenty of assistance.

In the fourth inning, Toronto right fielder Curtis Granderson charged hard for a Nick Martini fly ball, and at the last moment, attempted a diving catch. It wasn’t the correct decision. The ball one-hopped off his face and into center field, allowing A’s shortstop Marcus Semien to scurry home from first base.

In the eighth inning, Blue Jays left fielder Teoscar Hernandez botching a routine fly ball from Semien. One batter later, Hernandez seemed to prematurely stop his pursuit of a ball to the wall, and Toronto center fielder Randal Grichuk’s ensuing off-target throw trickled back into the infield untouched as two more runs scored.

The lasting memory, though, was from Jackson’s 100th win.

“It was pretty cool,” catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “We had a good time … Had some champagne.”

Lucroy often played against Jackson as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, and is 12-for-32 against him in his career. So, after the game, he asked Jackson, “Did you ever think I’d be catching you for your 100th win?”

Probably not.

While he lauded Lucroy’s assistance from behind the plate Monday, Jackson gave the most credit to his family who have followed him on his winding major league journey.

Dan Bernstein

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