Jays sweep Marlins; win 8th in a row


39. Final. 2. 82. 7

The Blue Jays are officially rolling.

This is was evident before today’s game, but was it ever solidified this afternoon. Scott Copeland was called up from AAA for the spot start after the Jays decided to skip Aaron Sanchez’s start in the rotation because of “general soreness” but it seems more like they were simply trying to manage his innings.

However, the Jays didn’t miss a beat during Copeland’s first start, delivering 7 runs on 9 hits, including 4 home runs. On the current 8 game winning streak, which now has them at 31-30 and 3 games back of the Yankees, the Jays have scored 57 runs while only allowing 21. This team is showing what they’re capable of when everything is put together.

You couldn’t have asked for much more from Copeland, who went seven strong innings while giving up only one run, effectively using his sinker down in the zone to get 12 groundouts. He kept it simple, pounded the zone, and mixed speeds to keep the Marlins off balance. He finished with a line of 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 4 K to get his first major league win.

The offence was once again very impressive, and fans are constantly being treated to a terrific set of at bats game in and game out. The power display was impressive and it was started by Justin Smoak. Smoak delivered an absolute moonshot to right field that was followed by Russell Martin, who drilled an up and away fastball from Tom Koehler over the right centre field wall.

Smoak is quietly putting together a nice campaign. He hasn’t been receiving the at bats he’s hoped for, but he’s shown that he definitely deserves more when the opportunity presents itself. After today’s showing he’s got his OPS at .800 and his wRC+ at 125, and he’s come through with RISP with 17 RBI’s in only 98 PA’s. There’s no questioning that’s terrific to see from a guy who’s primarily been used off the bench and in part time duty.

Later, Jose Reyes, who has been on fire as of late, delivered a shot to right for his 2nd HR of the year, and Josh Donaldson followed him with a laser to right centre. Not much can be said about Donaldson, he’s simply been everything the Jays could have wished for.

After today, the Jays offensive numbers are outstanding. They rank 1st in R with 325 (2nd place is the Yankees with 275), 4th in HR with 75, T2nd in OBP, 1st in SLG, 1st in OPS, and they aren’t just a one trick pony as they rank 9th in SB with 39 bags while only being caught 6 times (tied for 1st). Hitting in the Rogers Centre is certainly aiding them, but there’s no doubt about the potency of this lineup.

The Jays have an off day tomorrow before starting a run of 13 consecutive days with games that starts with a 3 game set in Boston. Drew Hutchison gets the ball on Friday evening against Joe Kelly.

<strong>Scott Copeland</strong>. STARTING PITCHING . A. In his first start of his major league career, Copeland did not disappoint. Filling in for Sanchez, Copeland gave the Jays exactly what they were hoping for. He didn’t walk a batter, and kept the ball on the ground by pounding his sinker down throughout his 7 innings of work. He was rewarded for his effort by being sent back down to AAA..

OFFENCE . B+. Another explosive day for the Jays offence, scoring 5 of their 7 runs via the home run ball. The aforementioned Smoak is putting together a quietly strong campaign. He hit his 4th home run of the year, and delivered RBI’s 16 and 17 through only 86 AB’s. Martin, Reyes and Donaldson also hit home runs, all of the solo variety.. . Game Ball, <strong>Justin Smoak</strong>

<strong><a href=. <strong>Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil</strong>. . RELIEF PITCHING . B

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