Toronto Blue Jays Highlights & Lowlights: Estrada and Smoak Lead the Way to Victory

 

Buoyed by a strong night from Smoak, the offense provided more than Estrada would need for a Toronto Blue Jays victory.

 

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After battling back in last night’s game to grab their second consecutive series, the Toronto Blue Jays open up a four game series tonight with the Seattle Mariners. Toronto sent the steady arm of Marco Estrada (1-2, 3.14 ERA) to mound to face-off with former Blue Jay farmhand Chase De Jong (0-2, 6.75 ERA) in the Thursday night opener.

 

Toronto Blue Jays:  7 R,  9 H,  0 E
Seattle Mariners:  2 R,  6 H,  0 E

 

Lineups:

 

Blue Jays

Mariners

 

Highlights

The top of the lineup answered back quickly in their half of the first inning when Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera led off with singles (Note: they have a combined exit velocity of 127 mph). After Jose Bautista lined out to third-base on a 111 mph smash (baseball is weird), Justin Smoak cashed in his 18th RBI of the season with a single.

 

Smoak struck again in the fifth inning for his second and third RBI of the game. The inning started innocently enough with a two-out walk to Pillar. From there it got interesting with a single from Carrera, and a walk to Bautista. Smoak would then drop in his second single of the game, driving in two, to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead.

 

Immediately following Smoak’s single, Steve Pearce hammered his fourth homerun of the season, this one of the three-run variety. Pearce who had been mired in an 0-for-16 slump since his breakout weekend in New York extended Toronto’s lead to 6-2.

 

Despite getting behind in the first inning, Marco Estrada, would battle is way through six very effective innings. His ability to settle in helped the offense chip away and let him leave with a lead, which has been rare for the right-hander this season. His final line for the night would read 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K on 106 pitches.

 

Justin Smoak would add to his already impressive evening when he launched his sixth homerun of the season to right-centre field, for a 7-2 Blue Jays lead. He would go 3 for 3, with a walk, and 4 RBI. The long ball would also give him the team lead with 21 RBI.

 

The bullpen combination of Aaron Loup (1.0 IP), Jason Grilli (1.0 IP) and newly called up, Leonel Campos (1.0 IP) provided three innings of scoreless baseball in relief of Estrada.

 

 

Lowlights

 

Seattle jumped on Estrada quickly in the first inning tonight to get out to a 2-0 lead. It started with Jean Segura battling through an eight pitch at-bat before poking a double to left-centre. After getting the first out via a strikeout of Ben Gamel, an old Toronto nemesis by the name of Nelson Cruz unloaded a 2-run blast to dead centrefield. It’s what he does at the Rogers Centre.

 

 

 

Noteworthy

  • Toronto’s Francisco Liriano was placed on the 10-day disabled list this afternoon. It’s been reported by Shi Davidi the LHP has shoulder inflammation.
  • The Mariners claimed Casey Lawrence off waivers from the Blue Jays this afternoon. With the juggling of the pitching staff being necessary due to the rash of injuries this takes away from what depth the Jays had in AAA, Buffalo.
  • It appears the hamstring injury to Kendrys Morales may not require a DL stint. According to Gibbons, he is feeling better and may be available off the bench tomorrow.

Player of the Game

 

 

 

 

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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.

W Black

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.