Game Recap – Blue Jays Clobber Orioles
Following a day off, the Blue Jays were looking to right the ship starting with the first game of their series with the Orioles. It had been a disappointing home stand going into this game seeing the Jays go 2-5. They were able to make it 3-5 after drubbing O’s pitching this evening. They made an emphatic statement in more ways than one.
In very un-Buerhle-esque fashion, Mark Buerhle was missing his spots early on. He let up two runs in the top of the 3rd and there could have been more damage if not for a runner tagged out at the plate courtesy of Russell Martin via Ryan Goins and Dalton Pompey.
Meanwhile Bud Norris was being knocked around by the Jays offence. It all started with Edwin Encarncion taking the parrot for a walk to lead off the 2nd. Dioner Navarro smacked a ball to right which Travis Snider misplayed allowing Navarro to lumber into third on a close play. Officially it was a double with an error but we’ll credit Navarro with an honourary triple. Martin and Pompey followed with walks. Kevin Pillar struck out with the bases loaded but Ryan Goins didn’t miss the opportunity and singled home two runs. Snider missed the cut off man allowing Goins to go to second. Jose Reyes hit a grounder to short and Everth Cabrera came home with the throw. Pompey evaded the tag on very close play. It was reviewed but upheld. The miserable defense continued for the Orioles as Caleb Joseph threw the ball into centre field on a Jose Reyes steal and Ryan Goins scored. Snider made his third miscue of the inning taking an odd route to a fly ball that ended up as double for Josh Donaldson. 6 runs in total for the bottom of the 2nd.
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Norris didn’t fare any better in the bottom of the 3rd. Martin walked, Pompey doubled (to Snider who had a very busy and rough night) and Pillar this time made no mistake with 2 runners in scoring position. He drove in both with a single. That was the end of Norris’ night. Goins singled in Pillar off of the reliever Brian Matusz to tack on a 9th earned run to Norris’ total. A sac fly allowed Pompey to score in the 5th.
Buehrle’s next 3 innings were stronger and he ended up posting a quality start with 3 earned runs, 8 hits and a walk in 6 innings.
EE absolutely obliterated a ball off Matusz in the 6th, launching into the 5th deck. That would be the 18th fifth decker in Skydome/Rogers Centre history. The Jays then loaded the bases but apparently figured 11 runs was enough.
Liam Hendriks allowed a pair to get on base and then Goins made a throwing error on a grounder that allowed a run to score. Then it was Kevin Pillar highlight time again. He stole a hit from Adam Jones, leaping superman style to make a snow-cone grab. He then scrambled to his feet and doubled off the flabbergasted runner racing back to second. Amazing.
Donaldson lead off the 7th with a double and then the drama started. Jason Garcia threw behind Jose Bautista. Jose gave him a glare and the umpire issued warnings. Then, just as he did against Darren O’Day, Jose smacked a home run in the same at bat. Bautista stood and admired it, flipped his bat and then trotted slowly around the bags. He had words with the second basemen on the way around the bags and then gave one final glare at the O’s bench. The Jays celebrated the home run raucously on the top steps to rub it in further. Bautista had words with the O’s bench and Adam Jones on the way out to right field next inning. It was clear by his gestures that he was saying something to the effect of, “if you’re going to throw at me, expect me to rub it in your face if I get a home run.”
The O’s added two runs off of Liam Hendriks and Aaron Loup in the top of the 8th.
There were no further fireworks in the 9th as Marco Estrada pitched an effective 9th inning with 3 strikeouts and a nasty change up.
Make sure you tune in for the rest of this series. This pot could boil over at any moment.
– Buerhle was not paired with his regular battery mate (Navarro)
– Uncharacteristically, the O’s were very sloppy defensively. Missing cutoff men, dropping balls, poor throws
– Bautista hit the ball hard all night but ended up with just one hit (a pretty big one though)
– The offence seems to be feast or famine so far this year. Spread it out a bit?
– Buerhle is getting run support in spades early this season
– After the Bautista HR both benches and bullpens were visibly on edge
– David Lough was put in as defensive replacement for Adam Jones presumably because Jones was due up in the 9th and might have been thrown at in retaliation. Probably a prudent move by Showalter in that situation
– Dioner “Legs” Navarro was removed from the game after tightening up trying to stretch out a double. An infield single, an honourary triple and trying to stretch out a double? What’s happening here?