OAKLAND - Held relatively quiet for most of the past three days, Josh Donaldson made his presence felt loudly at the Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.
His two-run, tie-breaking homer off Frankie Montas in the top of the 10th lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-5 victory and denied the A's their first home series sweep in more than a year. The one-time A's All-Star third baseman came in 3-for-7 with one RBI over the first two games of the series. He drew three walks in his first four plate appearances Wednesday, then hit a towering shot to left-center in the 10th, after Oakland pitching had thrown seven scoreless innings to allow the A's to chip away and tie the game.
It was a sour ending to a homestand that the A's were hoping complete with a winning record. They settled for a 3-3 mark as they head out now for a six-game swing through Florida to play the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.
The A's haven't swept a series at the Coliseum since taking three from Minnesota May 30-June 1, 2016.
Here's five takeaways from the homestand finale:
The long ball bites Montas again: The right-hander won a roster spot and was one of the A's brightest stories coming out of spring training. But he's struggled mightily of late and has allowed four homers over his past two outings. That's nine homers he's allowed in 28 2/3 innings this season.
There was a Rajai Davis sighting: The A's leadoff man, batting .198 entering the day, had a double, single and triple over his first three plate appearances. He scored four runs as part of a 4-for-5 afternoon. Well, it's a start. The veteran has been struggling enough that manager Bob Melvin has cycled five other players through the leadoff spot trying to find the right fit.
Jharel Cotton salvaged his afternoon: The rookie hit major turbulence in a four-run second, when he served up Kevin Pillar's three-run homer and Justin Smoak's solo shot. But battling command issues early, and with his pitch count on the rise, Cotton buckled down and retired 13 of his final 15 hitters. He left after six innings with fours all across his pitching line - 4 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Liam Hendriks absolutely dealt vs. his old team: The reliever entered in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced. That included three strikeouts. After ringing up Ryan Goins to end the top of the ninth, the former Blue Jay gave a huge fist pump and yell as he walked off the mound.
Plouffe snaps his dry spell: The A's third baseman homered in the fourth to end a career long 0-for-25 streak.