Series Sum-Up: at Baltimore, August 27-29


Getting swept is the worst, but when the team doing the sweeping is the worst team in baseball… that calls for a sleepy puppy.


Game 1: Monday, August 27th
Jays lose, 0-7
Losing Pitcher: Sam Gaviglio


Losing to the Orioles after going 11-1 against them was bad enough, but getting shut out is worse. David Hess retired the first seven Blue Jays batters in order, until Luke Maile singed in the 3rd. Billy McKinney doubled in the 4th, but the leadoff double was stranded, as were a Russell Martin double and a Maile walk in the 5th. In the 6th, they stranded another walk and a double. Kendrys Morales was the runner on base for the double, so he was unable to score from first.


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The game was scoreless through the first 5 innings, though Sam Gaviglio stranded three hits over that time. Gaviglio walked Jonathan Villar in the 1st, but the batter behind him hit into a double play. He then allowed a leadoff single to Chris Davis in the 2nd, and a pair of singles plus a stolen base put two in scoring position in the 3rd. Then the first two batters in the 6th singled, and a wild pitch advanced the runners. Gaviglio opted to intentionally walk Adam Jones, loading the bases with nobody out.


Devon Travis laid out to retire Davis on a forceout, plating the first run. The next batter, Trey Mancini, homered, putting Baltimore ahead 4-0 with one out. Gaviglio got one more out, then allowed a single before turning things over to Danny Barnes. Barnes allowed a double, but no further runs – until the 7th. With one out, Villar walked, Jones singled, and stole second. Mancini collected his fourth and fifth RBIs of the night with a double, then Tim Beckham scored Mancini with a single. Beckham had previously been robbed of a hit by Travis in the 2nd and Martin (playing third base) in the 4th. Murphy Smith made his major-league debut then, and retired all four batters he faced.


Game 2: Tuesday, August 28th
Jays lose, 5-12
Losing Pitcher: Thomas Pannone


Thomas Pannone took the loss in his second career start. It was the polar opposite of his first, also against the Orioles. This time he lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits, two of which were the first home runs he allowed in the big leagues. Things started with a two-out rally in the 1st, a run scoring on two singles and a double. They ended that inning with an unusual play – Lourdes Gurriel Jr. fielded a grounder and flipped it to second base where Devon Travis caught it with his bare hand for the forceout. The 2nd was Pannone’s only scoreless inning, although he stranded a leadoff Renato Nuñez walk. In the 3rd, Trey Mancini tripled and scored easily on a single from Adam Jones. Another single, by Chris Davis (he’d also driven in the first run of the game) put two aboard for Tim Beckham, who homered to left.


Pannone retired the next two batters, then was forced out of the game by a two-run Craig Gentry homer in the 4th. The Blue Jays managed to get on the board in the top of that inning, thanks to a trio of singles, with the RBI going to Kevin Pillar. They then stranded the bases loaded when Aledmys Diaz struck out. Joe Biagini, who’d taken over for Pannone, allowed a hit but got the last two outs. Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer to narrow the Baltimore lead to four runs.


Biagini then hit the first two batters in the 5th, got two outs, then allowed two RBI singles. Craig Gentry was thrown out at second base, ending the inning after driving in the ninth Orioles run. The first two Blue Jays reached base in the 6th, but then Ryan Meisinger struck out the next three to strand them. Randal Grichuk homered in the 7th, then two more singles were stranded. In the 8th, Murphy Smith allowed three singles (all on the first pitch), a sacrifice fly, and a Chris Davis double that scored a pair. Grichuk drove in another run in the 9th after Travis walked, advanced on defensive indifference, and again on a groundout.




Game 3: Wednesday, August 29th
Jays lose, 5-10
Starting Pitcher: Ryan Borucki
Losing Pitcher: Danny Barnes


The Blue Jays had an early lead in this one, with a solo home run from Justin Smoak in the 1st and another from Kevin Pillar in the 2nd. After Russell Martin walked, Aledmys Diaz hit a first-pitch single, then Devon Travis doubled in a run. Travis’ double was reviewed to make sure it wasn’t a home run. Billy McKinney also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, putting the Jays up 4-0. Ryan Borucki allowed two baserunners in the 1st, first hitting the leadoff man, and then allowing a single to Craig Gentry. Russell Martin threw out Jonathan Villar at third base for the first out of that inning.


The Orioles didn’t get on the board until the 4th, when Trey Mancini led off with a home run on Borucki’s first pitch of the inning. The Jays stranded a pair in the 5th, then Borucki loaded the bases with two outs on a trio of singles. Adam Jones put the Orioles on top with a grand slam, and Borucki left the game having thrown 4 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. Devon Travis properly homered in the top of the 6th, tying the game and ending Alex Cobb’s night. He’d allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.


Danny Barnes had taken over for Borucki, and he then allowed a run in the 6th thanks to a pair of singles and a stolen base. Ryan Tepera walked Craig Gentry on four pitches with two outs – he then threw two wild pitches to Trey Mancini, allowing the runners to move and a run to come in. Ken Giles pitched the 8th and allowed three runs, but only one was earned because he allowed three hits, but made a throwing error while fielding a bunt, then Russell Martin made another fielding error with one out. That play scored a run, then Adam Jones singled, scoring another, and Tim Mayza had to come in to end the inning.


Overall Notes:

Kendrys Morales came into this series with a seven-game home run streak. He did walk once in Game 1, but was held hitless, and the team went scoreless so his streak came to an end.


In the first two games, the Blue Jays’ hit totals equalled their opponent’s run total. In the third game, they had the same number of hits (13).


The Blue Jays called up Danny Barnes on Monday, optioning Justin Shafer and Jake Petricka to Buffalo. Murphy Smith’s contract was selected ahead of this series, bringing the 31-year-old to the major leagues for the first time. Luis Santos was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.


Weirdly Specific Record Alert:

  • Murphy Smith is the oldest player (at 31 years old) to ever make his MLB debut for the Blue Jays


My favourite player(s) this series: Smoak/Grichuk

Justin Smoak hit two home runs, and had three hits total as well as a walk, and three runs driven in.


Randal Grichuk went 8-for-13 (.615) in this series. He had three doubles, a home run, and two RBI. In Game 2 he went 4-for-5 with a homer. It was the second four-hit game of the year for Grichuk, and the third of his career. In Game 3 he went 3-for-4 with two doubles.


Where we are now:
60-73, .451
4th in the AL East, 31.5 games back of Boston


The Jays are off to Miami for the weekend, playing an interleague series against the Marlins after having Thursday off. Aaron Sanchez will pitch the opener, then Marco Estrada will pitch a night game on Saturday and Sean Reid-Foley will start on Sunday. The non-waiver trade deadline is on Friday at midnight, and the Blue Jays are expected to make some moves before then.


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