Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Maybe a bit overshadowed by the Raptors win yesterday was the power of the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup; which propelled them to a convincing 9-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the series opener. RA Dickey gave up a 3-run homerun to Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning but still pitched to a quality start. Right-hander Neil Wagner came on with two men on in the seventh and replaced by lefty Brett Cecil (still sporting a 0.00 ERA) who got out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout coming courtesy of a nasty breaking ball. Steve Delabar got the win after pitching the eighth with Esmil Rogers finishing the game off in the ninth.
It seems as if Toronto likes to play against Baltimore (never thought I would say that this season), with their two highest scoring games coming against them. All the runs scored by both teams were all 3-run homeruns. Baltimore and Cruz struck first by taking Dickey to centre. Then Edwin Encarnacion picked a good time to hit his first homer of the season to tie the game up against Miguel Gonzalez. Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera both hit 3-run blasts in the eighth inning to seal the win for Toronto without another stressful inning for Sergio Santos (and the fans).
Tonight will be a rematch of the thrilling April 11 showdown when Toronto and Dustin McGowan went into Baltimore and stole a win from Chris Tillman and the Orioles. That was the McGowan’s best pitching performance and first win in years. 6.1 scoreless innings against a good hitting Baltimore team. That game Toronto scored their 2 runs off of errors made by Baltimore.
Tillman brings his 1.71 ERA and McGrown will face the Baltimore Orioles hitters in the hitting friendly Rogers Centre. The Jays have been really inconsistent when it comes to everything on a baseball field. Pitching (exception to Mark Buehrle) have been up and down, the lineup had been hot and cold, and the bullpen is in need of injured closer of Casey Janssen.
But maybe yesterday provided signs of a turn around. The offense exploded for 9 runs on 3 homeruns and the bullpen got out of some tight jams.
Chris Tillman, P
Blue Jays Lineup
Dustin McGowan, P