Toronto's Marcum gives up only hit in seventh, beats A's 3-1 in first complete game

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Shaun Marcum is getting used to losing no-hit bids late in the game.

Marcum pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a home run to Conor Jackson leading off the seventh inning, and Jose Bautista hit a homer that required a postgame ruling to lift the Blue Jays over the Athletics, 3-1 on Monday night.

"There's no what-ifs," said Marcum, who missed almost all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery on Sept. 30, 2008. "I'm one of those guys, I don't have no-hit stuff. It's just a combination of me going out there keeping the ball down and going from there."

Bautista hit his major league-leading 37th home run in the fourth inning, but it took nearly two hours to decide what kind of home run it was.

Bautista drove a 3-0 pitch from Brett Anderson that appeared to clear the wall in left field and hit the pole, caroming back onto the field.

Third base umpire Tim Timmons pointed toward the turf, apparently signaling the ball in play. Jackson, the left fielder, watched with his back against the wall as the ball bounced toward the infield while Bautista raced around the bases for what was initially ruled an inside-the-park home run.

Replays showed the ball clearly hitting the yellow foul pole, and official scorer Michael Duca met with officials from both teams during the game then spoke with the umpiring crew after Toronto's 3-2 victory before changing the ruling to a normal home run.

"It was probably out of the ballpark," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "I'd like to see it stay as an inside-the-parker. That would mean he has two this year."

Bautista hit an inside-the-parker on July 7 against Minnesota.

Marcum (11-6) faced only two batters over the minimum before Jackson homered and finished for his first career complete game. Marcum also took a no-hitter into the seventh against Texas on opening day and no-hit Tampa Bay through six innings on May 7, 2008, before being lifted because of a high pitch count.

The Toronto ace, who was trying for the majors' sixth no-hitter this season, retired the first eight Oakland batters before hitting Cliff Pennington, the No. 9 hitter, with a pitch. Pennington was later thrown out trying to steal second. Daric Barton walked with one out in the fourth but was left stranded.

"We were locating and getting ahead of hitters," Marcum said. "When you get ahead of hitters and are not pitching from behind in the count, you're going to have success. We caught a couple breaks, too."

Marcum retired the final nine batters after Jackson's drive. He finished with one walk and five strikeouts, rebounding nicely from his last outing when he gave up a career-high four home runs in a 10-1 loss to Boston on Wednesday.

"It's always nice to see a guy bounce back after something like that happens," Gaston said. "Great performance, just what we needed. He was just outstanding."

Before Jackson's homer, the closest the A's came to getting a hit came when Cliff Pennington hit a slow grounder to Encarnacion with one out in the sixth. The third baseman fumbled with the ball and threw late to first base, allowing Pennington to reach safely. The play was ruled an error and the sparse crowd at the Oakland Coliseum booed.

Jackson's home run, a towering blast over the wall in left-center, is his first since being acquired from Arizona in a trade on June 15.

Marcum's 11 wins lead the Blue Jays and are one shy of his career-high set in 2007.

In an intriguing follow-up, Oakland's Dallas Braden and Toronto's Brandon Morrow are scheduled to pitch against each other on Tuesday. Braden pitched the majors' first perfect game this year for the A's on May 9 while Morrow lost his bid for a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning against Tampa Bay on Aug. 8.

Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run shot for Toronto. Jose Molina matched his career high with four hits for the Blue Jays, who have won eight of the last 10 games between the two teams.

The A's were held hitless late for the second straight day. Minnesota's Kevin Slowey didn't allow a hit through seven innings Sunday before being pulled. Oakland got its first hit with one out in the eighth against Jon Rauch.

"It just seems like it's something different every night," A's manager Bob Geren said. "It's a combination of getting some well-pitched games and guys struggling. We only hit about three or four balls really hard for the game and it was a struggle tonight."

The A's haven't had any sort of offense lately.

They entered the night coming off a road trip in which they hit just .209 and scored only 11 runs while going 1-5. Oakland has not homered in eight straight games, the team's longest power outage since a nine-game skid Sept. 14-24, 1983.

Anderson (3-4) allowed all three Toronto runs and gave up seven hits. Anderson, who struck out five, is 1-3 since returning from the disabled list July 30.

NOTES: The Blue Jays signed 15th-round draft pick LHP Zak Adams and 17th-rounder RHP Myles Jaye. ... The A's reached agreement with three of their draft picks, including second-rounder SS Yordy Cabrera. OF Aaron Shimpon, a third-round pick, and 3B Chad Lewis, a fourth-rounder, also agreed to terms.