Blue Jays Drop Series Finale to Tigers in Extras

Rowdy Tellez

Two impressive streaks were continued as for the Toronto Blue Jays as they lost 3-4 to the Detroit Tigers in 11 innings on Sunday. Freddy Galvis was supposed to sit out, scratched from the lineup with a sore back. Galvis has the longest active streak of consecutive games played at 328 as of Saturday, dating back to the final game of the 2016 season. Then he pinch-hit in the 10th inning, so the streak continues!

Meanwhile, Trent Thornton, in his first MLB game, continued the Toronto starters’ streak of scoreless innings pitched. He hurled 5 innings of shutout ball, allowed two hits and didn’t walk anybody. He also recorded eight strikeouts, setting a new record in a major-league debut for a Blue Jays pitcher.

.@Trent_Thornton1‘s first 4 @MLB outs: Strikeout, Strikeout, Strikeout, Strikeout.

You’re a big leaguer now, kid!— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 31, 2019

One of the Tigers’ two hits off Thornton was a Jaimer Candelario single to lead off the game, but Thornton struck out the next three batters he faced (including Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera), plus the first batter of the 2nd.

On the other side of things, Matt Moore had a perfect game through 4 innings before Randal Grichuk took a leadoff walk in the 5th. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had hit into a double play to end the inning, then attempted to turn one in the next half-inning, but his throw was wide of first base and it went as a forceout.

Moore’s no-hitter continued until Richard Ureña laced a one-out single into centre in the 6th. Danny Jansen, who was Sunday’s designated hitter and batting leadoff for the first time in his career, singled in that inning, but the runners were stranded at the corners when Brandon Drury struck out.

The Tigers were the first to score, putting three across the plate in the 7th. Tim Mayza was the first to pitch, and he allowed a leadoff double from Niko Goodrum and a walk before departing with one out. Javy Guerra took over, hitting a batter and allowing a bases-loaded walk which forced in the first run. Then Candelario hit a two-run single, putting Detroit up 3-0.

Elvis Luciano became the first player born in 2000 to play in an MLB game when he entered with two out and two aboard. He got Castellanos to fly out, becoming the Blue Jays’ second-youngest player ever (and their youngest pitcher). He remained in for the 8th, working around a double and an intentional walk.

The Blue Jays rallied in the 8th against the Detroit bullpen. With Kevin Pillar on first, Ureña hit a ground-rule double, so Pillar had to stop at third. That was soon a moot point, because Rowdy Tellez was brought in to pinch-hit for Luke Maile and drove a Joe Jimenez changeup over the center-field wall for a game-tying, three-run homer.

For the second time in the series, the game went to extras, with Ken Giles and then Joe Biagini throwing scoreless frames. The Jays had an opportunity in the 10th, but couldn’t capitalize. Ureña was standing on second with two out, after another ground-rule double (his third hit of the day). Galvis was brought in to pinch-hit, and hit a ground ball that the shortstop fumbled. Ureña rounded third, and despite being told to stop, headed home, where he was thrown out easily.

Thomas Pannone was brought in for the 11th, and allowed three singles, one of whom ended up scoring the winning run. Castellanos drove it in. The Jays had another opportunity in the bottom of that inning, after a single from Drury and Smoak was hit with a pitch. Grichuk reached on a forceout, which moved Drury to third, but again, they couldn’t capitalize.

The end of this opening homestand comes with a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles Monday to Wednesday. Clayton Richard has knee issues, so Sean Reid-Foley will instead take the start in the first game Monday night, against the Orioles’ David Hess.

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