Series Sum-Up: vs Baltimore, August 20-22

 

Game 1: Monday, August 20th
JAYS WIN!!! 5-3
Winning Pitcher: Marco Estrada
Save: Ken Giles

 

Marco Estrada didn’t have a long outing, but he stranded most of the runners he allowed on base. The Orioles scored first – after two singles and a walk in the 3rd inning, he ran out of places to put anyone, and a Chris Davis sacrifice fly plated Jonathan Villar. Estrada stranded the other two runners that inning, to go along with one in the 1st and a pair each in the 2nd and 4th.

 

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Kendrys Morales tied the game with a solo home run in the 4th. With two outs, Russell Martin walked, but had to remain at third when Danny Jansen hit a ground-rule double down the third-base line. As a result, they were unable to take the lead because Aledmys Diaz struck out. Andrew Cashner had only allowed three hits (all for extra bases) and walked two through the first 4 innings, but he really fell apart in the 5th. Richard Ureña led off with a double, then scored on a double from Kevin Pillar. Cashner walked Smoak, which set up Morales for his second homer of the night, a three-run shot to right.

 

https://twitter.com/BlueJays/status/1031724903152672769

Estrada carried a 5-1 lead into the 6th, before surrendering a home run to Renato Nuñez. He got one out in the inning before leaving the game with Craig Gentry on third. Gentry had doubled, then advanced to third on an error. Ryan Tepera allowed an RBI double to Caleb Joseph before getting a pair of groundouts. Tepera then began the 7th, before turning things over to Jaime Garcia for one batter (a swinging strikeout of Chris Davis). Tyler Clippard pitched a perfect 8th with a strikeout, and Ken Giles earned a 10-pitch save. Both starters allowed seven hits, and Tepera was the only reliever on either side to allow a hit.

 

Game 2: Tuesday, August 21st
JAYS WIN!!! 8-2
Winning Pitcher: Sam Gaviglio

 

Sam Gaviglio picked up his first win since May 25th, going 7 innings in this Jays slugfest. Curtis Granderson had a leadoff double in the 1st, advancing when Devon Travis reached on an error, and, although Travis was later out on a double play, Granderson still came in to score on a Kendrys Morales single. The Orioles knotted it up in the 2nd when a trio of singles (the third of which ricocheted off Gaviglio) loaded the bases, and another one brought in the run. Three of the four came with two outs in the inning. But Aledmys Diaz put Toronto back on top with a home run, his sixteenth of the season.

 

The first three batters in the bottom of the 4th all reached and scored – first Morales singled on a fly ball, then Kevin Pillar hit a ground-rule double to center, and Billy McKinney scored them both with a single. Dylan Bundy got his first out of the inning, but Richard Ureña singled on the next pitch. Renato Nuñez flubbed the play on a Luke Maile grounder, allowing Maile to reach and McKinney to score. Gaviglio allowed the Orioles’ second and final run of the game in the 5th, a home run to Cedric Mullins.

 

Justin Smoak and Morales hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of that inning, which led to Bundy’s removal. Ryan Meisinger then gave up the first home run of McKinney’s career, a solo shot to right field. Meisinger walked Ureña on four pitches, but finished the inning before turning things over to Tanner Scott. Gaviglio also walked a batter in his last inning of work, the only walk he’d issued all game. He struck out seven. Baltimore got the leadoff batter aboard in the 8th and 9th innings, and both runners made it to third base, but they failed to cash them in. Chris Davis struck out four times.

 

 

Game 3: Wednesday, August 22nd (Day Game)
JAYS WIN!!!! 6-0
Winning Pitcher: Thomas Pannone

 

Thomas Pannone and Lucas Hess both went 7 innings, and both got through 4 innings without allowing a hit. Pannone had hit a batter back in the 1st, then picked him off first, and walked two. Kendrys Morales was the first baserunner for the Blue Jays, as he singled leading off the 5th. Pannone carried the no-hitter two innings deeper than his Baltimore counterpart, with some help from a diving Randal Grichuk in center field in the 6th. Pannone retired the three batters that inning on five pitches, including a bunt that he fielded himself.

 

Trey Mancini singled on a ground ball to left field as the first batter of the 7th. Teoscar Hernandez then misplayed a fly ball from the next batter, Adam Jones, putting both runners in scoring position with nobody out. For a moment the Orioles looked poised to get on the board, but Russell Martin looked back the runners on a groundout, Pannone fielded a groundout, and then got Nuñez to pop out to Martin at third base, stranding the runners. That marked the end of his outing, a one-hit shutout with two walks and three strikeouts.

 

 

Morales brought in the first run of the game, his sixth home run in five games in the 7th. Hess only allowed one more hit, but took the loss in spite of seven strikeouts. Miguel Castro came in for the 8th, faced five batters, and didn’t get an out. First Teoscar Hernandez got an infield hit, then Castro threw a wild pitch and Hernandez move to second. Danny Jansen walked, another wild pitch moved the runners, and Ureña doubled to score Hernandez. Jansen scored on the third wild pitch of the inning, ball four of Billy McKinney’s plate appearance.

 

Devon Travis then became the tenth Blue Jay with double-digit home runs, driving his tenth of the season into the center field seats and busting open the lead. At that point, Castro had had enough and Paul Fry retired the side. Ryan Tepera pitched around a leadoff infield single and a walk, getting two strikeouts along the way. Joe Biagini struck out the side in the 9th, getting Craig Gentry on three pitches.

 

Overall Notes:

The team activated Luke Maile off the paternity list prior to this series; in a corresponding move, they sent Sean Reid-Foley to Buffalo.

 

This series featured a heartwarming reunion between two players – Danny Jansen’s family hosted Adam Jones 14 years ago when he was in the minor leagues. They both took to Twitter to discuss their history together.

 

https://twitter.com/BlueJays/status/1032030961708539906

 

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Weirdly Specific Record Alert:

  • Thomas Pannone’s six no-hit innings was the longest ever by a Blue Jays pitcher making their first start
  • Danny Jansen had a hit in each of his first six MLB games (the streak was snapped when he went 0-for-2 on Wednesday). That’s the third-longest such streak in history for a Blue Jays rookie.

 

My favourite player(s) this series: Morales/Pannone/McKinney

Kendrys Morales hit four home runs in this series, and now has a four-game streak of consecutive games with a home run. He was 7-for-12 in this series, and now has a seven-game hit streak. He also collected seven RBI thanks to the home runs, and was responsible for tying Game 1 and then putting the Jays comfortably ahead.

 

Thomas Pannone had a first start to remember, no-hitting the Orioles for six innings. Despite the first two batters in his final inning reaching base, he preserved the shutout and finished with one hit, two walks, a hit batter and three strikeouts. His seven-inning start was more innings than he’d pitched at the major-league level in four other appearances combined, and his ERA is now a sparkling 1.59.

 

Billy McKinney got his first career hit at the SkyDome in the opening series of the year while he was with the Yankees. Returning to Toronto with his new team, he went 2-for-6, with two walks, and another career first – his first home run. He drove in three and also scored three times.

 

 

Where we are now:
58-69, .457
4th in the AL East, 30.5 back of Boston

 

The Phillies are in town next for a series over Players’ weekend. Canadian pitcher Nick Pivetta will take the mound in Saturday’s game, while Aaron Nola, who almost no-hit the Jays earlier this season, won’t appear.

 

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