Game 1: Tuesday, May 23
The Blue Jays had a pair of singles in the first, but a double play prevented them from scoring. Then they loaded the bases with nobody out in the 2nd. Ryan Goins singled to drive in one run, then Joe Biagini got his first career RBI by grounding out. They added on another pair of runs in the 5th when Jose Bautista (starting at third base for the first time since 2013) hit a two-out single and Kendrys Morales drove him in with his 8th homer of the year.
Biagini allowed but a single and two walks through his first 4 innings, then got into a jam in the 5th when he gave up three straight singles to start the inning. That scored one run, then he got a groundout which Ryan Goins barehanded (as it was hit too softly for a double play). Jonathan Villar laced a 2-RBI single into right field, which made it 4-3. Biagini then walked Eric Thames, and Danny Barnes came in. Villar and Thames pulled off a double-steal, but it didn’t matter as Barnes struck out Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw to end the threat.
Anthony Alford led off the 7th with his first MLB hit – a pinch-hit double to deep center field. He advanced to third on a groundout, but then was stranded along with Bautista (who walked). Ryan Tepera struck out the first two batters he faced, before walking Villar and hitting Thames with a pitch. He then got Ryan Braun to fly out to Alford, despite Villar stealing his third base of the night. The bullpen didn’t allow a hit, as Joe Smith struck out two and Roberto Osuna worked around a 2-out walk to end the game with a strikeout. Barnes earned his first career win.
Game 2: Wednesday, May 24 (Day game)
JAYS WIN!!! 8-4
Winning pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Marcus Stroman allowed a solo home run to Keon Broxton in the 3rd, but the Jays took the 2-1 lead in the top of the 4th when Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista both went deep. Matt Garza had set down the first 9 batters in order, then the leadoff homer to Pillar, and Garza threw a high and tight pitch to Bautista, who homered two pitches later. Garza allowed six earned runs on seven hits, including a single to Chris Coghlan and a Ryan Goins double to start off the 5th. Luke Maile (who was catching while Russell Martin played third) scored Coghlan with a sac fly.
Garza left the game with one out in the 6th, after allowing a leadoff home run to Devon Travis, and back-to-back singles to Bautista and Justin Smoak. Oliver Drake walked Coghlan, loading the bases, and the next batter (Goins) hit a grand slam to right, giving the Jays an 8-1 lead.
Stroman made it 5.2 innings, with four runs allowed on four hits, four walks and five strikeouts. He left the game after allowing a two-out, three-run homer to Domingo Santana in the 6th. 8-4 was the final score, after the Blue Jays’ bullpen – Dominic Leone, Aaron Loup, and Jason Grilli – threw 3.1 combined scoreless innings. Grilli was the only one to allow a baserunner, a leadoff double to Travis Shaw in the 9th. Leone and Loup each had two strikeouts. This was the Jays’ first four-home run game of the season. Maile’s sac fly in the 5th was the only run scored by either team which wasn’t a homer. Travis now has a nine-game hit streak.
Anthony Alford was placed on the Disabled List after Tuesday’s game because he’d fractured the hamate bone in his wrist. At this rate, players have been dropping at a pace of one per series (Aaron Sanchez while they were in Baltimore, Darrell Ceciliani in Atlanta, Steve Pearce while they were playing the Mariners… the list goes on).
Joe Biagini’s dad was in attendance at his start on Tuesday night, and had the best reactions to his son’s pitching and hitting.
Joe Biagini’s Dad’s night in four frames. pic.twitter.com/XNHth5B9c4
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) May 24, 2017
Weirdly Specific Record Alert:
- After pitching an inning on Tuesday, Ryan Tepera now has a 17.1 innings scoreless streak – the longest active streak for a reliever in the majors.
My Favourite Player(s) of the week: Goins
With his first career grand slam, Ryan Goins made the difference in Wednesday’s game. He was 2-for-4 in each game, with a pair of doubles, the home run, and five RBI. He also made a nifty bare-handed play in Game 1.
Where We Are Now:
Last in the AL East, 7.5 games back of New York
I can’t really think of any bad news this time around, it’s a two-game series, which they swept, the bullpen has been rock-solid, people are hitting dingers, it’s been a good time! Plus on Friday we should be getting Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki back. Things are looking up!
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