With just over 39,000 fans piling into Rogers Centre, the Jays did not disappoint. They managed to score double digits in the last game of the series after being shut down for the majority of the first 2 games. Overall, the A’s series drew just over 87,000 fans, or an average of approximately 29,000 per game. Not bad for a mid-week series in July with the Jays hovering around .500.
The first spark for the Jays came from the bat of Edwin Encarnacion who blasted a 3-run shot to get the scoring going. Once that big knock rattled the A’s, the Jays seemed to be much more confident at the plate and managed to get 12 hits , 10 of which came from 5 players (2 a piece).
Travis Snider, hitting behind Edwin Encarnacion today, worked 2 hits (including a double) after striking out in his first 2 ABs. He is now hitting .304 with 6 RBIs through 6 games (23 ABs). Sure, he’s still striking out too often, but you can’t knock the production so far. It’ll be interesting to see what the Jays do with Snider in the lineup once Jose Bautista returns from injury. With J.P. Arencibia being hurt, it’s possible that he’ll remain behind Encarnacion in the lineup.
Aaron Laffey had some rough spots today, but he still managed to keep the Jays in this game. If you compare his performances this year with the Jays to Ricky Romero‘s, you have to admit that he has earned the chance to keep getting shots in the rotation.
Jeff Mathis, replacing Arencibia, had a good day at the plate, managing 2 hits and an RBI while hitting 8th in the lineup.
The best portion of the day, however, aside from watching the bats come alive of course, was to witness the shutdown threesome of Brandon Lyon, Darren Oliver, and Casey Janssen. They struck out 5 hitters without allowing one hit or a walk. Of their 49 pitches, 35 of them were for strikes. That earned Lyon the win (1-2) and Oliver a hold, his 12th of the season. If this is a sign of things to come from the trio, the Jays could have one potent pen for the remainder of the season.
The Jays face the Tigers next and will try to keep Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder off the scoresheet. It’s not going to be any easier than facing the A’s with the Tigers being 8-2 over their last 10 games. What’s good to know about this series is that if the Jays do have any success against the Tigers, they could make up a lot of ground in the wild card chase since they are 4 GB of the Tigers and A’s for the last wild card spot. The Red Sox are facing the Yankees, the Rays are facing the Angels, and the Orioles are facing the A’s, in what seems to be a weekend filled with wild card team battles.
It was important for the Jays to enter the series vs the Tigers with a few positives, and they seemed to get enough positives out of today’s game. Carlos Villanueva gets to kick things off Friday, followed by Henderson Alvarez and Brett Cecil.