Trent Thornton had another good start, and the Blue Jays briefly had the lead, but Toronto’s bullpen couldn’t hold it and they dropped their second game in a row to Cleveland.
Socrates Brito briefly endeared himself to his new team with a diving catch in the bottom of the 1st (more on him later). After waiting until the 9th inning to get their first hit last night, the Blue Jays wasted little time hitting on Friday – Brandon Drury singled in the 2nd, as just the sixth Toronto batter of the game. He did not move beyond first base.
Thornton gave up the first run of his major-league career in the 3rd, a solo home run by Kevin Plawecki that put Cleveland on the board. In the same inning, Thornton also issued his first base on balls, walking the number nine hitter, Eric Stamets, on five pitches.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the 5th, on a two-run homer from Freddy Galvis. It was Galvis’ second home run of the season, and he drove in Rowdy Tellez, who’d taken a leadoff walk. Shane Bieber proceeded to strike out the next two batters.
That lead would prove to be short-lived, because Cleveland tied it in the bottom of the inning. Max Moroff doubled to right, and Ramirez scored from first. Brito was charged with an error because he missed the relay throw, and Moroff advanced, but he was stranded at third with the game tied 2-2. Brito had been chosen to bat leadoff for his second game with the club, and still has yet to reach base. He struck out once (on three pitches), grounded out on the first pitch twice, and once worked a full count but flew out to centre field.
Javy Guerra took over after Thornton walked Jake Bauers with two out in the 6th. Guerra got Carlos Santana to ground out on the first pitch, then threw a perfect 7th. Daniel Hudson threw the 8th and came away clean, even after Jose Ramirez pinch-hit for Stamets, walked, and stole second. Galvis appeared to tag him out, but the safe call was reviewed and confirmed.
The two teams had been pretty evenly matched up until the end – both had 3 hits and had taken 3 walks. However, Blue Jays batters struck out 14 times, compared to Cleveland’s 10. Joe Biagini came in for the 9th, got a deep fly ball out from the first batter, and then Santana hit a walkoff home run to end the game with a final score of 3-2 Cleveland.
For the second game in a row, Justin Smoak was out of the lineup with a sore neck. That is why Tellez was playing first base, with Billy McKinney as the designated hitter. Tomorrow’s game is a late-afternoon start at 4:10, with Carlos Carrasco on the mound for the home team. Carrasco has a 12.46 ERA after he gave up six runs on 10 hits his last time out, in only 4 1/3 innings. Maybe the Blue Jays can capitalize on that! For the visitors, Thomas Pannone takes the bump with a 1.80 ERA. Pannone is making his first start (and third appearance) of the season, taking the spot that was occupied by Sean Reid-Foley last time through the rotation.
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