Toronto Blue Jays take opening slugfest from LA Angels


The Toronto Blue Jays took their series opener against the Los Angeles Angels 10-6 on Monday afternoon, overcoming a spot start from the recently recalled Todd Redmond as the teams traded blows.  Redmond’s appearance was used as a way to give the rest of Toronto’s rotation an added day of rest, but with 17 hits from the Blue Jay batters, not much else was needed.

Toronto got rolling in the bottom of the second inning with RBI’s from Ryan Goins, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.  After Todd Redmond stumbled and gave way to Ryan Tepera, who quickly lost the lead, the Toronto Blue Jays stormed back with breakout innings in the sixth and seventh.

This is exactly the type of win that the Blue Jays needed after being swept in Houston.  A big inning early followed by the slow pitching collapse had all the makings of another disappointing game, but the club finally put their foot down and controlled the momentum.  It was imperfect, most games are, but it was a victory.

6. 102. 10. 39. Final

Game Notes:

  • According to a great tweet from Jamie Ross of, Redmond was not lacking confidence prior to first pitch.  “We’re going to [expletive] win”, Redmond told reporters.  Regardless of his performance, that’s the attitude these Blue Jays need.  (And hey, he was right!)
  • After stranding Josh Donaldson at third in the opening frame, Toronto’s offense clicked in the bottom of the second.  After a Ryan Goins chopper crossed up

    Albert Pujols

    to score

    Chris Colabello

    from third, Josh Donaldson drove in

    Steven Tolleson

    with a screamer down the left-field line.  Jose Bautista then drove in Donaldson with a double of his own followed by an RBI single from Edwin Encarnacion to give Redmond an early 4-0 lead.

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  • Redmond’s second trip through the lineup didn’t begin as smoothly, with Albert Pujols taking him deep into the second deck in the top of the fourth.  After a wild pitch scored Kole Calhoun to pull the Angels within two, a double from Chris Iannetta plated David Freese to make it a one run game.
  • Ryan Tepera took over in relief for Redmond, but coughed up the lead while getting pegged with two earned runs over 1.1 innings.  If this continues, the 6th and 7th positions in the Blue Jays bullpen could continue to churn…and churn…

    Josh Donaldson may have sparked the Jays with…a strikeout?  Words were exchanged between he and the Angels bench during his plate appearance, and upon returning to the dugout, cameras caught him yelling across the field… You can use your imagination or search for it on Twitter, if you so desire.  Don’t show the kids.

  • Russell Martin had the hit of the month for Toronto, connecting on a 3-2 single with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth to put the Jays ahead 6-5.  Danny Valencia followed up with a huge 2-RBI double of his own to follow Martin.  Gibbons had originally sent Justin Smoak out to pinch hit, but his faith in the hot Valencia was rewarded.
  • Jose Bautista looks to be rounding back in to shape.  His two run homer in the 7th inning was a classic from number 19, turning on an inside pitch and sailing it over the second deck.

    C-. Redmond breezed through his first two innings needing just 19 pitches and everything looked to be in order.  He was soon exposed for what he is, though, which is a long reliever who struggles in his second trip through the lineup.  This is not a knock on Redmond buy any means, but simply the reality of his limitations.<p>After being called up to give the rotation a breather, Redmond’s 4.0 inning outing caused the Jays to lean heavily on the bullpen.  With uncertainties following him in the rotation throughout this Angels series, another early exit from a starter could force Alex Anthopoulos to fire up the shuttle between Buffalo and Toronto once again.  All and all, Redmond left with a 4-3 lead and did what was expected, for better or for worse.</p>. Game Ball. <strong>Todd Redmond</strong>. STARTING PITCHING

    A+. The middle innings began to make it look like this would be another one-big-inning offensive performance from the Blue Jays, but the bats awoke again in the sixth.  Josh Donaldson led the charge early, going 3-4 with an RBI and one run scored.  With Bautista and Encarnacion beginning to find their groove alongside him, this lineup could become even stronger than it already is.. Game Ball. <b>Josh Donaldson</b>. HITTING

    B+. Ryan Tepera took over for Todd Redmond in the fifth inning but did not look strong.  After allowing 4 hits over 1.1 innings, including a game-tying home run to David Freese, Tepera was yanked in favor of Roberto Osuna.  Osuna would allow Chris Iannetta, a runner left over from Tepera, to score on a single as the Jays fell behind 5-4.<p>Osuna dominated the 7th, however, setting down the side with just eight pitches.  His ability to intentionally move his fastball velocity around with a 3-4 MPH variance continues to keep hitters off balance</p><p>Aaron Loup took the mound for the 8th, surrendering a home run to Chris Iannetta and a single to <strong><a href=. Game Ball. <strong>Ryan Tepera, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil</strong>. BULLPEN

    MVJ:  Josh Donaldson

    Giving Donaldson the game ball for his performance at the plate isn’t enough love, and he’s quickly stepping to the forefront as a leader in this Blue Jays clubhouse.  His comments prior to the final game in Houston didn’t spark the fire immediately, but his fiery demeanour was on display again late Monday.  His exchange with the Angels dugout may not have been dinner party conversation, but I’ll take that over choreographed handshakes and passive personalities.

    Next: Is this the worst Blue Jays rotation ever?

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