OAKLAND -- It was just another day at the beach for the A's; at least that's the way Yoenis Cespedes explained Oakland's 9-4 win Monday over Toronto.

"Everybody contributes a little grain of sand," Cespedes said through an interpreter. It's a Cuban expression that describes the building of a beach, or by extension, anything else of value.

There have been more than a few grains of sand coming from Cespedes lately. After one RBI in the first 3½ weeks of July, he has seven RBIs in the last two games, including Monday's two-run triple in the first inning and his first homer in 25 games in the eighth.

And then there was fellow beach-builder Josh Reddick. He, like Cespedes, has struggled for most of the year to find the swings that made both men stars in Oakland in 2012. He, like Cespedes, drove in three runs Monday.

"I think (Cespedes) might be a little quicker to it right now than I am," Reddick said after having gone the last week without an RBI. "It's a slow process. But there is something here to build off."

The A's can build off the fact that at 63-43, they have the best record after 106 games of any Oakland club since 1992. And at 20 games over .500 for the first time in 2013, the club holds a six-game lead in the A.L. West.

The lead has been built with not just Cespedes and Reddick slumping, but also Brandon Moss well below the numbers he'd hoped for. And two men who had helped carry the team earlier in the year both came back to life Monday, too. Seth Smith brought an 0-for-30 skid to an end with a double and single and drove in two runs. Josh Donaldson is still looking for his first RBI since the All-Star break, but his fifth-inning single brought an 0-for-17 slide to a halt.

How good were the A's feeling after moving into a share of the best record in the American League (Tampa Bay is also 63-43)?

Cespedes, generally one of the slowest to get around to addressing the media postgame, made a joke of being in front of the media scrum "before I take a shower."

Reddick was able to look at the A's record, contrast that with his own numbers (a .216 average, five home runs and 37 RBIs) and find reasons why the future is brighter than the present.

"It's the second half, and we have to be happy that we're in first place (considering all the struggles)," he said. "I'm just glad that the guys have gotten us to this point, and maybe we're ready to get going."

All that offensive largesse was spread out for starting pitcher A.J. Griffin, who had a 4-0 lead after one inning, a 5-0 lead after three and an 8-1 lead after five. That much room to play with put Griffin, now 10-7 with a 3.90 ERA, in position to challenge one of the best homer-hitting teams in baseball with fastballs.

Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie and Edwin Encarnacion all took Griffin deep, but to no real impact other than that Griffin now leads the majors in homers yielded with 26. Of those, 19 have come with no one on base, including the Lind and Lawrie bombs Monday.

"It's pretty frustrating," Griffin said of the home runs, putting aside the fact that he's 5-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last eight starts. "But today was different than other days. With that lead, I just wanted to get ahead of guys and get us back in the dugout as soon as possible.

"That team over there, that's their M.O."

The Jays are second in the A.L. with 134 homers. The A's, by way of comparison, have just 109.

Griffin said that he felt better balance Monday as he was delivering his pitches and that when he threw his slider, changeup or curve, he had success. It was his fastball, thrown for effect with Oakland having a big lead, that got hit.

Just not enough to impact the game.

  • The A's aren't the only team believing there will be no double jeopardy in baseball. Like the A's and Bartolo Colon, the Blue Jays are working under the assumption that Melky Cabrera, who like Colon got a 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension in 2012 when he was with the Giants, will not be impacted by his linkage to the Biogenesis clinic that is alleged to have distributed PEDs. "We don't think that's going to happen," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said before the game. "Major League Baseball is handling all that, so we don't know. We think, because he served his time, it's over with."

  • Second baseman Eric Sogard was given no advance warning by manager Bob Melvin that he would be hitting second Monday. He'd batted either eighth or ninth in all but one of his starts before Melvin moved him up. "He probably looked at the lineup and thought he had a day off," Melvin said. Sogard had his season-best seven-game hitting streak ended Monday.

    Tuesday's game
    Toronto (Mark Buehrle 6-7) at A's (Dan Straily 6-4), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA