The Blue Jays began a home away from home stand with a quick two game series against the Washington Nationals hoping to get back to .500.
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Thornton had surgery to end his sophomore season in 2020. So far in six games in 2021 he has looked good with a 1.86 era over 9.2 innings. If the Blue Jays can get him stretched out he might move in to the rotation later in the season, rather than being used as an opener.
36 year old Scherzer is a 14 year MLB veteran. He boasts an impressive resume including seven straight all star appearances from 2013-2019 and three Cy Young awards, in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Scherzer is off to an excellent start to the season with a 1.80 era in 4 games.
Trea Turner led off the game with a solo HR on a 0-2 count. Thornton got the next three Nationals hitters to ground out. 1-0 Nats middle of 1st.
Top 2nd, with one out Thornton hit Josh Harrison with a pitch. He was later caught stealing, the first caught stealing of the season for Alejandro Kirk. Starlin Castro hit a two out single but was stranded when Alex Avila grounded out.
Top of the third, one out, Trey Turner once again hurt the Jays with another solo HR. That was the end of the night for Thornton who was relieved by Tommy Milone who gave up a solo HR to Yadiel Hernandez. 3-0 Nats, middle of third.
With one out, bottom 3rd, Alejandro Kirk and Cavan Biggio hit back to back singles. Bo Bichette walked to load the bases, bringing Guerrero to the plate. Guerrero rose to the challenge with a grand slam. 4-3 Blue Jays.
Top 4th, Kyle Schwarber doubled off of Milone and advanced to third on a Josh Harrison single. Starlin Castro hit a sharp line drive which SS Bo Bichette caught. Avila walked to load the bases and chase Milone from the game in favour of Anthony Castro. Castro got Victor Robles to ground in to an inning ending DP.
Joe Panik led off the bottom of the 4th with a double. With one out Kirk reached base on an error. Panik scored, Kirk ended up on 3rd, and scored on a Biggio sac fly. 6-3 Blue Jays
Top 5th, Castro hit Turner with a pitch. With one out, Ryan Zimmerman drew a walk, bringing the tying run to the plate. Castro struck out Bell and was removed in favour of Tim Mayza. Mayza got Schwarber to line out to LF and strand the runners.
Guerrero led off the bottom of the 5th with his second HR of the night. 7-3 Jays.
Joel Payamps took over from Mayza in the top of the 6th. He gave up a one out single to Castro but the next two batters flew out and no damage was done.
Kyle McGowin relieved Scherzer in the bottom of the 6th and held the Jays off the score board.
Top 7th, Payamps gave up a one out single to to Hernandez, then Zimmerman hit a 2 run HR which spelled the end of the night for Payamps. 7-5 Jays. Tyler Chatwood in to pitch for Toronto. Chatwood struck out Bell and Schwarber to end the frame.
Kyle Finnegan pitched in the bottom of the 7th. One on, one out. Guerrero hit his third bomb of the night. 9-5 Jays.
Rafael Dolis closed out the game for the Jays with a 1-2-3 inning. Ballgame.
Final score: Blue Jays 9, Nationals 5
It isn’t often that you expect the team going with a bullpen day to win against a team starting an ace pitcher like Scherzer but that’s exactly how it unfolded. The Jays used seven pitchers to get through the game.
Offensively, Cavan Biggio chipped in for Toronto with 3 hits. But there’s no question who the star of this game was. Guerrero was a one man wrecking crew with 3 HR and 7 RBIs.
Up next – the Jays will try to sweep the two game series. Wednesday April 28th. First pitch 7:07 pm
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