The Toronto Blue Jays’ offense remains offensive to the senses. Another strong pitching effort wasted in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles.
Toronto (1-7) welcomed the Baltimore Orioles (5-2) to the Rogers Centre for the first time this season. Tonight’s game is the first of the four game set that will take them through the weekend. Tonight’s starters are LHP Francisco Liriano facing off against RHP Kevin Gausman.
Blue Jays – 1 R, 6 H, 0 E
Orioles – 2 R, 5 H, 0 E
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) April 13, 2017
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) April 13, 2017
Liriano came out firing thru the first four innings only surrendering a single hit while chalking up six strikeouts, and looking like the Liriano we all expect to see. His final line for the night reads as 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB and 10 K.
While it came in an effort to curtail the burst of offense from the Orioles, the fifth inning produced two excellent defensive plays from the Blue Jays. The first was an 8-6-2 relay from Pillar and Tulowitzki to Martin nabbed the trail runner at the plate. The second was an excellent play from Jose Bautista who hauled in a fly ball while slamming into the right-field fence.
Joey Gloves. ??? pic.twitter.com/AKqZdHJ4pA
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 14, 2017
With one out in the 6th inning Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back doubles to get the Blue Jays on the scoreboard.
The bullpen combo of Joe Biagini and Joe Smith combined for 2.1 innings of shutout baseball in relief of Liriano. Neither surrendered a hit, while Biagini K’d 2 and Smith fanned the side in the ninth. The final strikeout gave the Blue Jays pitching staff 15 K’s for the night.
A lead-off double by Pillar was wasted in the bottom of the third when Darwin Barney (F7), Devon Travis (6-3) and Ezequiel Carrera (4-3) only manged to move the runner to third. That recent stint had dropped Toronto’s batting average to .135 with RISP this season.
The Orioles lead off the fifth inning with four consecutive hits. Welington Castillo (1B), Trey Mancini (1B), Jonathan Schoop (2B – RBI) and J.J. Hardy (1B – RBI) cashed in a pair of runs. If not for a terrific relay from Pillar and Troy Tulowitzki to nail Mancini at the plate for the first out, it could have easily been 3-0.
After following up a Bautista double with one of his own, Josh Donaldson, came up limp heading into second with what appeared to be another flare-up of his lingering calf issue. Immediately leaving the field to be replaced by pinch-runner Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Not a sentence I thought I’d ever type.
Devon Travis is mired in one heck of a slump to start the season. At the moment he sits at 0 for his last 26 at-bats. With Martin breaking his 0-21 last night is little wonder the team is having trouble scoring runs.
The Blue Jays snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak with their run in the sixth inning. Small victories.
Without official word, this is pure speculation at this point; however it would appear that Donalson would be heading to the 10-day DL to nurse his calf injury. It would be hard to justify not having a replacement if he is to be unavailable.
Who's your @jaysfromcouch Player of the Game for yet another soul-crushing loss?
— Roy-Z ☘ (@rolewiii) April 14, 2017
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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.