WP: R.A. Dickey – 7.0IP, 5H, 2ER, 2BB 6K
LP: Felix Hernandez – 4.2IP, 7H, 8ER, 3BB, 5K
Another night, another runaway win for the Blue Jays. Toronto rode a 7-run 5th inning to a 10-2 victory on Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners’ Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez, and did it all with a lineup that featured Munenori Kawasaki hitting 5th. Unfortunately for Blue Jays fans, this performance also came on a night where Toronto was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
The Blue Jays took an early lead as Edwin Encarnacion singled in Jose Bautista, who had reached with a ground-rule double in the first inning. The lead would temporarily swing in the Mariners favour, however, when R.A. Dickey surrendered a bases-loaded single to Robinson Cano in the top of the 3rd to move Seattle ahead 2-1.
Fast forward to the bottom of the 5th inning, where the Blue Jays settled in for what seemed like an hour at the plate. Rookie Dalton Pompey started the party with his first career MLB home run. A second-deck blast off King Felix is one memorable way to leave the yard for the first time. Following a double from Anthony Gose and a bunt single from Josh Thole, Ryan Goins would put the Blue Jays ahead 3-2 with a sacrifice fly.
Edwin Encarnacion would come to the dish after a single by Jose Reyes and base on balls to Jose Bautista, only to take a bases-loaded walk himself, the Jays’ 2nd in as many nights. Munenori Kawasaki proceeded to beat out a double-play to push the score to 6-2, and shortly afterwards, a walk by Dalton Pompey in his 2nd AB of the inning would end the night early for Felix Hernandez.
When the dust settled on the 7-run inning, the Blue Jays had driven in a run with a home run, single, sac fly, HBP, and walk. This was a masterclass on passing the baton, and a perfect example of the style of baseball that the Blue Jays so desperately needed to find over the past two months. An inning later, Edwin Encarnacion would tack on a 2-run bomb into the second deck with Jose Bautista aboard.
Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey was his reliable self on Tuesday, delivering 7 strong and striking out 6. Dickey has been greatly undervalued through the second half of the season, as he has been nearly automatic in his ability to reach the 7th inning and keep his team in the ball game. Brett Cecil and Casey Janssen pitched an inning each to mop up on a night that Blue Jays fans received the exciting news that top prospect Daniel Norris will receive his first Major League start on Thursday.
In news that feels almost “old” by now, the Blue Jays will go without playoff baseball for the 21st season in a row. For the second straight night, Blue Jays fans are left to wonder “where was this in August?” while they quietly celebrate a large victory. Flashes of the future such as the deep drive from Dalton Pompey are encouraging, however, as the Blue Jays continue to present their young players with opportunities to perform.
MVJ: Dalton Pompey. Since Joey Bats has enough MVJ’s to fill his shelves for 2014, let’s give some love to the rookie. Pompey’s athletic makeup and high ceiling have Blue jays fans buzzing for the years to come. With Anthony Gose refusing to seize the starting CF job several times annually, Pompey will quickly become a fan-favourite. It feels great to give the MVJ to a Canadian, too.
Tomorrow’s Scheduled Starters (7:07 ET, Rogers Centre)
TOR: Mark Buehrle (12-10, 3.53)
SEA: Taijuan Walker (2-2, 3.00)