Blue Jays Game Recap: Bats Come Alive!


All over Major League Baseball, teams sported the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. It was very cool to see all the players in Wednesday evenings contest between the Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays paying tribute. Mark Buehrle was working at his usual quick pace and looked good. Erasmo Ramirez started for the Rays and did not look good. The story of the game is offense. After the offense sputtered in the first two games of this series, the Blue Jays scored multiple runs in every inning through the 5th. According to Brendan Kennedy, this was the first time doing so in team history!

Final. 7. 21. 12. 39

In the bottom of the first inning, Josh Donaldson took advantage of the shift and poked a dribbler to RF. After trotting to first and giving a wry look to the Rays’ bench, he was able to trot all the way home as Jose Bautista launched his 2nd HR of the year to make it 2-0 Blue Jays.

In the 2nd inning, Justin Smoak worked a nice walk, Kevin Pillar singled and Dalton Pompey dropped a very nice bunt (that probably would have rolled foul on a natural field), which loaded the bases. After a Devon Travis strike out, Reyes cued a ball off the end of the bat that Evan Longoria had to charge. He bobbled it and Smoak scored to bring the score to 3-0. Then, Josh Donaldson struck a single up the middle that scored Pillar and Pompey. 5-0!

The scoring continued in the 3rd when Navarro worked a lead off walk and he took 2nd on a Smoak ground out. Then, Kevin Pillar picked up his second hit of the game with what may have normally been a single to LF, but because of the slow roll, went for a double that scored Navarro to make it 6-0. Devon Travis wasn’t satisfied with that, so he launched an opposite field shot that was a couple feet from going out. Instead, it was a double to score Pillar. 7-0

In the top of the 4th, the Rays had the bases loaded after a couple Donaldson wild throws and a failed attempt by Buehrle to start a double play on a perfect come backer. It was tailor made. Buehrle’s throw pulled Reyes off the bag. Everyone was safe. But, there was no damage as the next batter hit into a double play to keep the score at 7-0.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

In the bottom of the 4th, Donaldson reached on an error (really, it looked like the SS had no clue how the ball was going to bounce), Bautista walked and Justin Smoak brought them both in with a 2 run single off of new pitcher Jeff Beliveau. 9-0

Buehrle gave up a solo shot to Steven Souza Jr in the 5th. He can hit some bombs, can’t he? It was his second no doubter of the series. This time he went to deep LF. 9-1 It’s OK, though. Because Devon Travis got that one back with a solo shot to LF for his 2nd of the year. Travis put together a great 9 pitch at bat. 10-1. At this point in the romp, Jose Reyes was pulled for Steve Tolleson who promptly walked in the 5th. And, to add insult to injury, Donaldson roped a double to LCF to score Tolleson. 11-1

After a double to Logan Forsythe in the 6th, Mikie Mahlook recorded his first big league hit, which was a home run (a la Devon Travis). That brought the score to 11-3 and marked the end of Buehrle’s night. His final line: 98 pitches, 6 IP, 7H, 3ER, BB, 4K.

Dalton Pompey added a no doubt solo shot to RF to start the 7th for his 2nd of the year. 12-3 Because, why not?

All looked good until Todd Redmond ran into trouble in the ninth and allowed 3 runs to score. But, by that point the game was all but over anyway.  Colt Hynes came in and walked a batter and a single. 12-7 John Gibbons went to Brett Cecil in the hopes that someone could end this game.

Game Notes:

  •  Easily, the early talk of the night was the turf at Rogers Centre. And, while it gets old fast, there is definitely something to the talk. It is having an impact. Pompey’s bunt in the 2nd can be credited to the turf. It was like a hand reached up from below and just held the ball. OK, that may be an exaggeration. But the turf came in to play when Donaldson’s single was hit hard, but was slow enough to allow 2 to score.
  • Josh Donaldson may have forced the defense a bit tonight. In the 4th inning, he made a couple bad throws that looked like he didn’t really have a play. You can’t knock the effort, but the results led to runners reaching. Perhaps, this may be due to his aggressive nature. Or, perhaps, he was forcing it. Either way, it is easy to forget about with a night like he had at the plate.
  • It is starting to sound like beating a dead horse, but Devon Travis is looking really good. On both sides of the ball. The knock against his glove is almost confusing at this point. He’s looked really good on turning double plays. He has a quick turn and a strong throw.
  • The bottom of this Blue Jays order is not looking like a regular bottom of the order. They were a combined 7/12 with 5 runs scored.
  • As great a night as the offense had, the highlight, by far (!) was the leaping catch Kevin Pillar made to rob Tim Beckham of a home run. It might be the best catch I’ve seen live (on TV or in person)! It was just, wow!


Buehrle had it working tonight. He had that ball dancing around the strike zone all night. The Rays hitters couldn’t get anything really going against him. He appeared to run out of steam in the 6th when he gave up a double and then the first big league hit (a home run) to <strong><a href=. . Mark Buehrle. STARTING PITCHING . A

A+. It was a bit of a challenge to choose just one hitter from tonight’s game. But Donaldson put up a consistently productive night. He went 3/5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.. Game Ball. Josh Donaldson. HITTING

. BULLPEN . B-. Todd Redmond was supposed to be the only arm John Gibbons used to end the game. After 2 good innings, Redmond made the night longer than it should have been. His job was to come in and end the game. He ran into some trouble in the 9th with a walk and two hits to load the bases.  Then Souza hit a 2 run double that was nearly a grand slam. Gibby pulled him in favor of Colt Hynes. Hynes walked a batter, gave up a single to draw out the night. Finally, Brett Cecil shut the door by striking out Forsythe..

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