Despite tying things up late, the Blue Jays would let game two of the series against the Orioles slip through their fingers
Final Score: Blue Jays 3, Orioles 5
W: Brach (8) L: Grilli (4) S: Britton (39)
The Toronto Blue Jays would come into today’s game in search of their 5th straight victory, and first series win in Baltimore since April of last year. Another win tonight could also do more significant damage to the Orioles division hopes, putting them 5 games out of the division lead. The Jays sent JA Happ to mound who was also looking at an individual goal as well. A win tonight would be good enough to tie for a league leading 18th win. The Orioles would counter with Ubaldo Jimenez, who was sporting a not-so-great 6.62 ERA to date.
The first inning would start with both teams threatening to score but to no avail. Ubaldo’s control issues would show early with 2 walks, but a GIDP from Russell Martin would allow him to save face. For the Jays, an awkwardly played ball by Melvin Upton Jr. on a deep fly ball to left would allow for a 1 out double. Happ would also escape without damage though striking out Manny Machado and inducing a ground ball off of Trumbo.
It still wouldn’t take long for the Jays to get on the board on ol’ Ubaldo. A one out double from Saunders would be followed up by an Upton ground out. With 2 away Saunders was able to take off on a ball in the air, so a Kevin Pillar bloop single to center allowed him to score. Kevin Pillar would steal second and advance to third on an error, but Travis would strand him there with a ground out.
Happ and Jimenez would settle in after that however and roll right on through until bottom of the fifth. It was at this point when Happ would allow his first blemish. On a 1-0 91.5 mph fastball down the pipe, Steve Pearce would blast a solo shot to left. The home run would be his fifth of his career off of Happ. The inning wouldn’t stop there either. After walking Pedro Alvarez, Manny Machado would match Steve Pearce sending another ball into the left field bleachers. The Jays would get the next two outs, and head into the sixth down 3-1.
Ubaldo would continue to pitch an excellent game through six, allowing only 3 hits and walking just 2. The 7th would end up to be his undoing however. After a lead off single by Russell Martin, and a Troy Tulowitzki line out, Ubaldo would face his nemesis Michael Saunders. Saunders would continue to hit him well, this time destroying a 422 foot two run homer with an incredible exit velocity of 108 mph. After a fly out to right from Upton Jr., the Orioles would go to the pen. Jimenez would leave with a line of 6.2 IP 5 H 3 R 3 ER 2 BB and 3 SO. An incredible line from Jimenez, especially in contrast to his season to date. Brad Brach would come in to strike out Pillar to end the inning.
Happ would continue to pitch into the seventh as well. After a loud fly out, and with Steve Pearce on deck, Gibby would go to the pen. Happ would also exit with an excellent line of 6.1 IP 6 H 3 R 3 ER 2 BB and 3 SO. Joe Biagini would enter the game to replace Happ, and despite hitting Pearce to start, would close out the inning without further incident.
Brach would stay in for the top of the eighth shutting the top of the Jays order down, giving up a lone single to Josh Donaldson. All tied up the Jays would send Jason Grilli to the mound to try to do the same to the Orioles. Unfortunately for the Jays, he wouldn’t. After getting two outs including an impressive strike out of Chris Davis, Grilli would walk Jonathan Schoop on 5 pitches and then give up a 2 run bomb to Matt Wieters. The Orioles now up 5-3, Zach Britton would then come in to close out the Jays without incident.
PLAY OF THE GAME
The JFtC game ball goes to Michael Saunders. Saunders has a history of hitting Ubaldo well and he didn’t disappoint. Saunders would go 2 for 3 with a monster home run, 2 R and 2 RBI.
Tonight’s turning point landed in the bottom of the 8th. The game all tied up at 3, the Matt Weiters home run would prove to be the difference.
NEWS & NOTES
During the game twitter was on fire in regards to a potential Ryan Goins trade after he was pulled mid-inning in Buffalo. As it turns out, all was for naught.
Gibbons says Goins is coming up because Barney has to leave for personal business. #BlueJays
— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) August 31, 2016
Josh Thole also cleared waivers. It’s expected that he will sign with the Jays again shortly.
Blue Jays announce that Josh Thole has cleared waivers and elected free agency. Expect him to be re-signed shortly.
— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) August 31, 2016
Sportsnet also released some amazing information on viewership. Keep it up Jays fans!!
Canada ❤'s #BlueJays: Monday’s TOR vs. BAL game delivered 1.6 million viewers – the most-watched game in 2016 since the Home Opener!
— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) August 30, 2016
Before the game Scott Carson provided us with an interesting JA Happ stat. Next time… Next time…
— Scott Carson (@caRSoN_Stats) August 30, 2016
Finally, Barry Davis also hand an opportunity to sit down with everybody’s favorite rule 5 pick.
— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) August 30, 2016
Toronto will close out their series against their division rivals looking for the series win. Aaron Sanchez will return from the depths of single A to take on Yovani Gallardo and his 5.69 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 ET. You can fill yourself in with all of the details you need in our series preview here.