Tuesday July 1st was Canada Day, and along with the holiday, came the annual Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day game. This year’s edition saw the Blue Jays take on the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers in front of a sold out crowd at the Rogers Centre.
On the mound for the Blue Jays was Drew Hutchison, who had recently been struggling. Hutchison battled Marco Estrada of the Brewers, who going into the game had a 7-4 record with a 4.94 ERA. The Canada Day spectacle also marked the return of Blue Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista, who was sidelined for 7 games with a hamstring injury. Bautista greeted Marco Estrada quite nicely in the 1st inning when he hit a solo shot off the right-hander for the 1st run of the ball game, his 16th homer of the season.
From then on Blue Jays’ starter Drew Hutchison took over and dominated the Brewers lineup for most of the game as he struck out 8 of the first 10 batters he faced and retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced, only allowing an infield single to Khris Davis. After the Bautista home run, the game went scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when Centre Fielder Colby Rasmus homered to right field on a 0-1 count to put the Blue Jays up 2-0.
That was all the Brewers could produce as Drew Hutchison pitched his way to 7 innings. Hutchison, facing a little bit of trouble with Carlos Gomez on third base, Khris Davis on second, and Mark Reynolds on 1st, got Jean Segura to line-out to Anthony Gose to end the 7th.
With Aaron Loup replacing Hutchison in the 8th, he got himself into some trouble but was saved by Dustin McGowan, who has been a stud out of the bullpen for the Jays. McGowan got Ryan Braun to ground into a double play, then struck out Carlos Gomez to end the 8th. The Blue Jays looked to add some insurance in the bottom of the 8th when Adam Lind hit a 1-out, pinch-hit single, his 5th pinch hit in 11 attempts. After he was replaced by pinch-runner Darin Mastroianni, Jose Reyes flied out but was followed by a RBI triple by Melky Cabrera to score Mastroianni. Jose Bautista struck out but with 2 outs, Edwin Encarnacion hit a double to centre field to score Cabrera.
That was all Casey Janssen needed for insurance as he pitched the top of the 9th to secure the 4-1 victory for the Blue Jays, collecting his 13th save. The Blue Jays take on the Brewers at 12:37 ET as J.A. Happ starts for the Blue Jays, and takes on Wily Peralta of the Brewers.