Jays From the Couch brings you the Highlights & Lowlights of the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins
The Toronto Blue Jays marched into the CenturyLink Sports Complex to take on the Minnesota Twins on a day where Ryan Goins was hitting in the 2nd spot in the lineup. Spring Training is great, isn’t it? Casey Lawrence started for the Blue Jays while Ervin Santana faced the team who thought they had signed him a few years ago.
Toronto Blue Jays: 2 R, 8 H, 1 E
Minnesota Twins: 6 R, 9 H, 3 E
WP: E. Santana LP: C. Lawrence
— MLB Daily Lineups (@DailyMLBLineups) March 4, 2017
— Twins Lineup (@MINLineup) March 4, 2017
Casey Lawrence took the mound to start the game and was getting the ground ball working. He was getting ahead in the count and ended up walking just 1. He gave up a single run when a single got past Justin Smoak and then Max Kepler hit a double. That opened the scoring 1-0.
Darrell Ceciliani scored the Blue Jays’ first run on a Juan Graterol double. We thought Ceciliani would score on a drive by Anthony Alford, but the hit was caught at the wall. Instead, a Richard Urena walk led to Graterol stepping up to the plate and chugging into second for his first RBI of the spring. This brought the score to 3-1 Twins.
Tim Mayza came in the 3rd and pitched his 3 outs, which carried into the 4th. He was hitting 95 mph and making short work of his 3 outs. We’ve seen him hit 99 this spring. If he can continue to impress, his velocity form the left side can make the bullpen decisions very interesting.
Dominic Leone pitched the 5th inning (and the final out of the 4th) and struck out 2. The waiver claim certainly needed a good outing like that, since his previous 2 innings of work yielded a WHIP of 2.50. Against the Twins, he threw 9 pitches, all strikes. He struck out Joe Mauer and Max Kepler with a Sano fly ball out in between that had the wind playing with it.
After Juan Graterol hit a grounder to the pitcher, and despite the Graterol’s speed, a rushed errant throw allowed the catcher to chug to second, Ryan Goins stepped to the plate with 2 out and split the outfield for an RBI single to bring the score to 4-2. He was thrown out at second trying to take that extra base. In his previous at bat, Goins made good contact on a ground out and the same contact resulted in the RBI double.
Chad Girodo chipped in an inning of work and surrendered a double to Engelb Vielma, but nothing more. Girodo showed his ability to get outs while not lighting up the radar gun. As a potential lefty reliever, Girodo sent a message about his ability to get outs.
Mike Bolsinger came on in the 3rd inning and continued his frustrating start to Spring Training. He walked Brian Dozier and then Miguel Sano stepped up and absolutely clobbered a home run to bring the score to 3-0 for the Twins. Kepler followed that up with a double. After walking Kennys Vargas, Bolsinger was pulled from the game in favor of Tim Mayza. Even with a bas outing, you would likely have seen the pitcher finish the inning, but a HR, a double and a walk does not indicate that would happen.
Chris Smith gave up an infield single in the 6th and then a double that hopped off the third base bag. With one out, J.B. Shuck flied out for the sacrifice, which added a run to the Twins lead, 4-1. He struck out Drew Stubbs to end the threat. It wasn’t a terrible outing for Smith as he offered up 95 mph though.
Justin Smoak was the recipient of 4 at bats – perhaps in an effort to get his bat going – and he struck out twice. His 4th at bat of the day resulted in his second straight whiff. It came on (you guessed it) a breaking ball. He went 1-4 on the day with a single, grounded into an inning ending double play and struck out twice.
Leonel Campos got himself into trouble in the bottom of the 8th inning by allowing two base runners to reach, and tossing in a wild pitch before Drew Stubbs hit a double over the head of Edward Olivares, who got himself spun around. The (mis)play allowed two runs to score and the Twins to go up 6-2.
News & Notes:
- Troy Tulowitzki will make his 2017 Spring Training debut in Sunday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Rays in Dunedin.
- Devon Travis still has no clear timeline for his return to game action, while Josh Donaldson says he’ll be ready for Opening Day. Neither infielder will rush things, but for Travis, his knee is still not 100% and could take longer than we thought.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.