HomeTeamsBlue JaysToronto Splits Their Home Series With Baltimore.

Toronto Splits Their Home Series With Baltimore.

After every Blue Jays series, this Canadian will sum up his five stars of the set and throw in my two cents (worth .015 US).

The four-game homestand against Baltimore was the litmus test to see where the Blue Jays stood in the American League East and if the forces of good remained treading water.  They split the series with the Orioles, dropping the first two and winning the next two, keeping them 9.5 Games back of Baltimore (who holds the top Wild Card spot) but only 3.5 behind the Minnesota Twins, who own the last Wild Card slot.  There are still three teams in between the Toronto/Minnesota Oreo, but the vibe feels so much more positive than a month ago.

Now, on to that series.

Toronto started poorly. The O’s entered Canada winning eight of their last ten and cruised to an opening win.  Grayson Rodriguez won his sixth decision, going 6.2 innings and allowing one earned run (a solo shot from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the fourth), spraying seven hits.   Kevin Gausman, who last lost on April 23, took the L by giving up three home runs (one to Anthony Santander and two to Austin Hays) and surrendered six runs over 6.1 innings of work.  Baltimore won 7-2.

The Blue Jays fared no better on Tuesday, as they were crushed 10-1.  With Alek Manoah on the 15-day IL, Manager John Schneider had Trevor Richards start, which began well with two scoreless frames, but Adley Rutschman singled in a run in the third, and Bowden Francis surrendered two home runs to Ryan Mountcastle (one in the fourth and one in the fifth).  Connor Norby had his first career home run when he tagged Nate Pearson for a two-run shot in the eighth.  The only offence that Toronto mustered was a George Springer solo shot off Baltimore starter Corbin Burnes.

It looked bad for our boys in blue, and they desperately needed to turn it around on Wednesday night.  Staff ace, Jose Berrios, did what he regularly does; keep Toronto in the game.   “La Makina” allowed two runs in the second, but nothing else over six innings, but the Jays responded in their half with a Justin Turner RBI double and Isiah Kiner-Falefa RBI single off Orioles starter, Anthony Suarez.  Suarez threw three more scoreless frames, and both bullpens threw goose eggs until the bottom of the ninth when IKF walked it off with an RBI single off star reliever, Craig Kimbrel.  The Blue Jays won 3-2.

In the series finale, Yusei Kikuchi got his first win in seven starts.  With the exception of his last outing, Kikuchi has thrown well, and did not have the run support to gain him a win, but he was close to a no-decision.  The Japanese southpaw pitched six innings, allowing only a Rutschman solo shot to cross the plate.  He left the game with a 6-1 lead, with half of the runs coming from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who went yard In the third.  The Jays bullpen disappointed, as Rutshcman had his second homer, a two-run shot against Zach Pop in the eighth, and Ryan O’Hearn had a two-out two-run tater off of Yimi Garcia to bring it within one, but Garcia got the save, his fourth of the year.

I will take the hard-earned split.

Here are my five Blue Jays stars of the series:

Jose Berrios, 1 G, 6.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 2 SO, 1.500 WHIP:  Berrios has had sharper outings, but he kept Toronto in it, left the game with a tie, and is the most dependable pitcher on the Blue Jays roster.

Yusei Kikcuhi, 1 W, 6.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 6 SO, 0.867 WHIP:  Kikuchi had a Game Score of 65 to get his third win of the year.  He is so much better than his 3-5 record.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2 R, 5 H, 2 XBH, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .357/.400/.786/1.186:  Vladdy had two blasts this series, giving him seven for the year, and for the first time after a series has an OPS over eight (.815).

Justin Turner, 2 R, 6 H, 1 XBH, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .546/.583/.636/1.220:  It is nice to see Turner back here, who was as cold last month as he was hot the month before.  Turner needed this.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 0 R, 4 H, 0 XBH, 0 HR, 3 RBI .267/.267/.267/.533:  IKF has been clutch lately, and is quietly approaching a bWAR of 2.

Honourable mentions for Trevor Richards, 1 G, 2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 SO, 0.000 WHIP

Next, the Jays go back on the road to face the lame duck franchise known as the Oakland Athletics.

Until then, touch them all!

Kirk Buchner
Kirk Buchner
Owner/Operator at the Notinhalloffame.com network @notinhalloffame


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