The Toronto Blue Jays battled themselves, the Angels, and Umpires in tonight’s loss to split the series in Anaheim.
The Toronto Blue Jays came into the fourth game of the series having won two of the first three, and would be looking to get their first series win of the season. Tonight’s starting pitchers were Francisco Liriano for Toronto, and ex-Blue Jay, Jesse Chavez, who signed with the Angels over the off-season.
Liriano would battle his way through this start. Despite only giving up five hits, he did surrender four free passes which got him into some trouble in the sixth. After being picked up by two huge bases-loaded strikeouts from Dominic Leone, Liriano’s final line read as: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. He’s also lowered his ERA to 4.58 on the season.
Blue Jays – 1 R, 7 H, 0 E
Angels – 2 R, 5 H, 0 E
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) April 24, 2017
— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) April 24, 2017
With the offense being held scoreless through the first three innings, the Blue Jays’ defense was stellar behind starting pitcher Francisco Liriano. The combination of Chris Coughlan and Devon Travis snuffed out a potential rally with a well turned double play in the second inning. Ryan Goins also chipped in with a 6-4 force-out after a ball bounced off the end of Coghlan’s glove.
Russell Martin broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with his second homerun of the season. It was his second hit of the evening, with both swings looking more and more like he’s breaking out from his slump.
The bullpen work was excellent again on this night. The combination of Dominic Leone (0.2 IP, 2 K), Joe Smith (1 IP), and Jason Grilli (1 IP) put together 2.2 IP of scoreless baseball to keep the game at 2-1.
Angels’ Mike Trout dropped a soft fly ball down the rightfield corner with one out in the bottom of the fourth. The seemingly innocuous play created some drama when Jose Bautista slipped on the warning track, and fell on his back. Trout not missing a beat scrambled for third and made it easily. Thankfully no one was hurt on the play. Trout would later score on a Albert Pujols RBI single to knot the score at one.
With the score tied at one apiece, and Angels runners at second and third. Toronto elected to play the infield in with no outs. Angels’ third baseman Yunel Escobar hit a sharp groundball to Devon Travis who made the decision to come to the plate with the play. Unfortunately, he short-hopped Martin and it caused him time in trying to get the tag down allowing Cameron Maybin to slide in with the go-ahead run.
Toronto’s manager, John Gibbons, was ejected for the second time in two games after sticking up for Martin after a questionable third strike call. This time he never left the dugout before being tossed, which showed poor form on behalf of umpire, Toby Basner.
Toby Basner struck again in the seventh inning when he called Travis out on a batter’s interference call. Was a rather tick-tack call which is rarely, if ever, called without contact being made to impede the throw to second. This negated the stolen-base for Chris Coghlan, who had to return to first, and took him out of scoring position.
Toronto had the tying run on second with no outs in the ninth. However, a strikeout and a hard-hit 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Travis ended the game.
- Aaron Sanchez threw long toss today. Finger feeling better. Next stage in rehab plan is to throw off mound, perhaps tomorrow in St. Louis. — Arash Madani.
- Sanchez and Happ are both ruled out for the St. Louis series. Mat Latos and Casey Lawrence will start later this week against the Cardinals — Arash Madani.
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) April 25, 2017
- Above: Madani reported (and shared) this story about Albert Pujols taking the time to offer Devon Travis some veteran advice regarding his slow start. This is the type of many fans aren’t often privy to, and it’s quite amazing when we get to hear how close these players around the league can be.