Apr 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro (30) hits an RBI double in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Astros 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Game Thread Number 10: Toronto Blue Jays (5-4) vs. Houston Astros (3-6)


It certainly seems a bit strange, but the Toronto Blue Jays are in first place in the American League East. Sure, it comes with the caveat that we’ve only played nine games, but we’ll take it and ride this train as long as it last.

With a win tonight, the Blue Jays will have their first winning series of the season and their first 3-game win streak of the season, something that didn’t occur until May 5-7 of last season. A sweep of the Astros is nothing to really write home about, but winning ballgames is what this team needs to get some confidence at the start of the season and they’ll take them from whichever opponent is on the field at any given time, regardless of record or reputation.

Toronto Blue Jays Line-up:
Melky Cabrera – LF
Maicer Izturis – 2B
Jose Bautista – RF
Edwin Encarnacion – 1B
Dioner Navarro – DH
Brett Lawrie – 3B
Colby Rasmus – RF
Josh Thole – C
Jonathan Diaz – SS

R.A. Dickey – P

Houston Astros Line-up:

Dexter Fowler – CF
Alex Presley – RF
Jason Castro – C
Jose Altuve – 2B
Chris Carter – DH
Marc Krauss – 1B
Matt Dominguez – 3B
Robbie Grossman – LF
Jonathan Villar – SS

Dallas Keuchel – P

With the lefty on the mound, the Blue Jays will go with their right-handed heavy line-up. That means Adam Lind gets to ride the pine and Dioner Navarro is slotted in as the DH. Ryan Goins also is getting the night off, as Maicer Izturis is drawing the start again at second base.

Toronto is hoping that then appearance of R.A. Dickey, moved up a day in the rotation, will be an interesting mix for the Astros to see after getting the likes of Brandon Morrow and his 9 strike-outs on Wednesday night. Dickey is coming off of a solid start against the Yankees where he went 6.2 innings and allowed just 5 hits, 0 runs, and struck out 6 batters.

Despite the hot starts from Melky Cabrera and Dioner Navarro, and the home runs the Jose Bautista is finding everywhere, the rest of the Blue Jays line-up is still struggling to get on track. The team ranks 26th in team batting, 24th in on-base percentage, and 20th in runs scored. Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus have started putting together some more solid at-bats and Adam Lind could break out at any moment. Until then, they’ll rely on their pitching staff and timely hitting to get the job done.

Can you say sweep??!!

Tags: Featured Game Thread Popular Toronto Blue Jays

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Well, that was disappointing, as the Blue Jays get a lead-off double from Melky, play some small ball by bunting Izturis, and then strand Melky at third. Worse yet, they saw all of 7 pitches in the inning.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      Ugh… gotta capitalize on those opportunities

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      Jays seem to be playing a lot more small ball this season… not sure if that’s Seitzer’s influence or not. I know Gibby likes the hit-and-run but it seems like they are using it even more this year too.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Gotta love the efficiency of the knuckleball. a lot of week swings and weak contact tonight from Houston.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    I swear that inning ended with a snippet from “Battle Born” by Five Finger Death Punch. Loving things already tonight.

  • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

    Perfect pickoff by Dickey

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Have to love that from the knuckleballer. Controlling the running game while throwing a floater of a pitch.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    And with that home run, R.A. Dickey has now surrendered his first home run of 2014. Astros take a 2-0 lead.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      It looked like Grossman didn’t even realize he hit it out until after he rounded second base

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Yeah, I think he was chugging, expecting that one to be a 3-bagger in the gap.

  • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

    What did Dickey’s arm just die again?

  • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

    Nice scoop by Edwin to save a Lawrie error

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Great minds…

      • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

        haha no doubt

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Nice scoop by Edwin to save the out.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Wow, Dominguez robs Lawrie. Never would have expected such a play after last night’s performance.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Did Rasmus just go lefty on lefty right there? Big bomb puts the Jays within a run.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      Gonna have to check the distance on that one with the Home Run Tracker tonight/tomorrow… that was DEEP!!

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Meanwhile, at the Red Sox/Yankee game, what is that on Michael Pineda’s hand? And why aren’t the Red Sox pushing the issue?

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      I’ll just assume they are using something too, just a little more discretely lol

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      oh wow the picture didn’t load until I refreshed… that is ridiculous!

      • Kyle Franzoni

        There is no shortage of it on there. Red Sox announcers are all over it.

  • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

    Welp let’s see if we can get one back here to at least tie it… Izturis/Bautista/Encarnacion due up

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Sheesh, where are the fans tonight? I know it’s the Astros but those are a lot of empty seats.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Another runner stranded and the Blue Jays still trail 2-1.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Is it me or do Blue Jays outfielders look a bit incompetent this year playing at Rogers Centre? Just seems to be a lot of weird grabs and reactions to bounces.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Ughh, feed freezes and then comes back just in time to see Jonathan Villar circling the bases to give the Astros the 5-1 lead.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Are Blue Jays hitters so shallow that team shifts on every batter in the line-up?

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Dickey done after 7 innings, but 2 home runs will haunt him.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Then Esmil Rogers gives one up to Jason Castro, probably trying to make Dickey not feel singled out.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    After a lead-off home run, Rogers K’s the side. Order was wrong, but we’ll take the outs.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Another double for Melky to lead-off. Keep swinging that hot bat.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Colby with an excuse me blooper to give the Jays a breath of life in the ninth. They’ll need a bit more help.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Gotta give Dickey props for sticking this one out in the dugout. Most starters in that situation would have hit the shower.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    2-run, 2-out double by Lind. Blue Jays climb to within 6-3. Still a chance?

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Melky magic again. A little swinging bunt forces and error. Lind scores, Melky to second on the error. Izturis reps the tying run at the plate.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Izturis out on come-backer. Houston wins 6-4.