Blue Jays Score Two Touchdowns in Blowout Win Over Mariners


WP:  J.A. Happ  –  7.0IP, 7H, 2ER, 1BB, 5K

LP:  James Paxton  –  2.2IP, 7H, 8ER, 6BB, 1K

The Toronto Blue Jays struck early and often on Monday night en route to one of their largest wins of the season, with a 14-4 trouncing of the Seattle Mariners

The Blue Jays opened the game with an early deficit following an RBI double from Robinson Cano.  Starter J.A. Happ would allow 3 hits in the opening frame, but strand runners on the corners before settling down through the middle innings.

Toronto’s bats were ready from the word “go”, as Edwin Encarnacion and Dioner Navarro walked to load the bases following a Jose Bautista single.  Danny Valencia would clear the bases with a clutch triple, then be driven in himself on a single up the middle by Steven Tolleson.

The Blue Jays would add 5 more runs with another big inning in the 5th.  Jose Reyes drove in one with an infield single, before Jose Bautista walked with the bases loaded to move the score to 6-1 and end James Paxton’s evening.  Paxton was miles from the much-hyped lefty that Blue Jays fans expected to see, and struggled mightily with control throughout his short start.  After Kevin Pillar came across, an Edwin Encarnacion single would bring in two more to put the Blue Jays out front 9-1.

Then, for the sake of balance, the Blue Jays began to tack on home runs.  Jose Bautista continued his dominant day with a deep fly off the facing of the 2nd deck in left field in the fifth inning.  Kevin Pillar would add his first home run of the season in the next inning, followed by surprising a shot to straight-away centre from Anthony Gose in the 7th.  This game got so out of reach that John Gibbons even let Juan Francisco play baseball for a moment, collecting his traditional pinch-hit K.

Kendall Graveman entered in relief for Happ in the 8th, and surrendered a leadoff single that came around to score with the aid of a wild pitch.  Sean Nolin saw his first action of the season to mop up in the 9th, and was greeted rudely with a deep home run to left by Chris Denorfia before escaping from the inning with no further damage.  Each of the young Blue Jays pitchers looked a bit rusty, which they surely are at this point in their season.

For a Blue Jays fan base struggling to come to terms with a season of “what could have been”, this win provides a ray of light in a darkening season.  Perhaps bittersweet, it also showcased how lethal the Toronto Blue Jays are when clicking on all cylinders.  Regardless, there is still a great deal of importance in these final games, and inspiring efforts like Monday’s are the perfect way for the Blue Jays to enter a critical offseason.

MVJ:  Jose Bautista.  To go along with his great day at the plate (3-3, BB, HR, 2RBI), Bautista also pitched in two highlight plays in the field.  In the top of the 2nd, he ended the inning and saved a run with a diving catch on a liner off the bat of Austin Jackson.  In the very next inning, Bautista took a one-hopper off the right-field wall and gunned down Logan Morrison at 2nd base.  Bautista’s level of play set the tone for the Blue Jays, as the clubhouse leader seems newly determined to end the season with a bang.

Tomorrow’s Scheduled Starters:  7:07 ET, Rogers Centre

TOR:  R.A. Dickey  (13-12, 3.82 ERA)

SEA:  Felix Hernandez  (14-5, 2.07 ERA)