Blue Jays decision to move Aaron Sanchez to the bullpen gets a little tougher after he turns in another dominant performance.
Both pitchers would deal through the first three innings. Rea would not allow a hit, while Sanchez allowed two, neither would leave the infield.
Unfortunately, for Rea his luck would start to run out in the fourth inning when Michael Saunders would take a low inside fastball to and drive to the wall in the right field gap for his third three-bagger of the season. Saunders would come into score on a line-drive sacrifice fly off the bat of Troy Tulowitzki. If not for an excellent play by Padres’ CF Travis Jankowski, it would have been another extra base hit for the Blue Jays.
Kevin Pillar would get things started in the fifth with a well struck opposite field double, and would score on a well placed broken bat double by Devon Travis. How Travis managed to take a pitch 6″ off the ground, break his bat and still send the ball to wall, is still under review. After a walk to Jose Bautista, Toronto would go ahead 3-0 on a Josh Donaldson single to centerfield. The run batted in would be his 71st on the season.
Padres’ starter, Rea, would put up a quality start for his team on this evening. His final line of 6 IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 4K was impressive against this deep Blue Jays lineup. Unfortunately, for him the young man on the other side was just plain better on the evening.
Rea’s replacement Jose Dominguez would get himself into trouble in the seventh inning after consecutive singles from Travis and Bautista. He would, however, earn himself a reprieve on a unique 3-5-1 double play that saw him cover the base and ultimately record the out with his backside.
Jugada super extraña, José Dominguez toca la base con los gluteos y la jugada es revisada declarando OUT al corredor pic.twitter.com/bfagCzqBEU
— Antonio Puesán (@antoniopuesan) July 26, 2016
Sanchez would finish his night after an impressive seven inning showing for the Blue Jays. He would use his full repertoire on this evening, mixing his changeup and curveball in with remarkable effectiveness. His final line of the evening would read 7 IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 7K on 97 pitches.
Tulowitzki would extend his hit streak to ten games in the bottom of the eighth with a ring double off the top of the left field fence, a drive that was about 3″ from going out for a home run. He would eventually come around to score on Pillar’s second double of the evening to make it 4-0.
Toronto’s bullpen combination of Jason Grilli and Bo Schultz would work the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Grilli would record a strikeout in his inning, while recording a clean inning. Schultz’s night wouldn’t go as well andn the reliever would find himself in some trouble after surrendering a leadoff double to Matt Kemp. He would record a ground ball out, before Padres’ left fielder Alex Dickerson would deposit a ball in the 5th deck for a 2-run home run, his 4th of the season. Gibbons would go to closer, Roberto Osuna, for the final two outs of the inning to end the game. His 21st save of the season would seal a 4-2 win.
PLAY OF THE GAME
A baserunning mistake by Jankowski would lead to an interesting put out on the bases by Tulowitzki and Donaldson. The play gave some of the older Blue Jays fans a little flashback of a similar play from the 1992 World Series. It turned out better this time around.
— Alykhan K. Ravjiani (@AlykhanKR) July 26, 2016
Tonight’s JFtC game ball goes to Aaron Sanchez. His quality start tonight was his 16th in his 20th start of the season, which leads all American League pitchers. It also marked his 11th win of the season, and his 10th in his last 10 decisions.
That’s 7 scoreless innings for Sanchez. For the 10th time this year, he’s gone 7inn, allowing 2 ER or less. #BlueJays
— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) July 26, 2016
Thanks to a ninth inning rally from the Padres offense, tonight’s turning point came in Toronto’s half of the 5th inning. The Blue Jays would score two runs to take a 3-0 lead on two doubles from Pillar and Travis, and a single from Donaldson.
NEWS & NOTES
As many are aware, the Blue Jays have activated Bautista from the DL tonight. Junior Lake was designated for assignment and Colabello was optioned to AAA Buffalo.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 25, 2016
The Blue Jays play host to the San Diego Padres once again tomorrow evening at 7:07 EST. Check in with JFtC for a breakdown of the remaining series here.
*Featured Image Credit: – Terry Foote (flikr) UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.