To kick off a West Coast swing, the Blue Jays picked up a win. This is a good sign as the opposite end of the continent hasn’t always been kind to the Blue Jays. With them trying to make noise in a playoff race, every win is important. As if there needed any more interest, the Blue Jays were heading to Oakland to face former team mates they saw sent away to bring in one of the best players in all of baseball. In fact, one of those guys, Kendall Graveman was on the mound in this contest. Yup, there were quite a few story lines for this one.
Getting the first game of this series under their belt is good for the Blue Jays as they’ll be in tough in the second game against Sonny Gray. They’ll counter with Felix Doubront.
Mark Buehrle started the evening how he always does: he allowed a single, which he later strands by getting the next three batters out, two striking out looking. It was a pattern he repeats often. But, it is working for him as he picked up his 11th win!
Toronto Blue Jays /
Toronto Blue Jays
Edwin Encarnacion started the 2nd inning by crushing an absolute no-doubter to left field to make it 1-0.
Buehrle continued to roll, allowing another single while being an absolute work horse. It was a great outing for Buehrle as he went 7 innings, giving up 8 hits, a single run and striking out 3. He did not walk a batter in a 95 pitch effort. At this point, to expect anything other than this type of line from Buehrle is silly.
Kevin Pillar doubles to lead off the third inning. He later scored on an RBI single up the middle by everyone’s favourite Jose Reyes to make it 2-0.
In an unusual turn of events, Reyes was later thrown out (just the second time this season) trying to steal second base on a strike-em-out-throw-em-out with Josh Donaldson at the dish.
Brett Lawrie gets his second hit off the Jays in the fourth inning. Two singles moved him to .284 on the season. He was stranded on Buehrle’s third strikeout of the game with a changeup. Do you think Lawrie had an extra Red Bull for this game ans was just a little amped up? We wouldn’t know since he would not speak to Toronto media beforehand. See MLB.com Gregor Chisholm tweet:
Pillar, apparently with plenty of family on hand and had himself a fairly decent game going 2-4 with a run scored. He stole second base and kept his thieving ways going to third base too. That gives him 15 on the season.
Josh Donaldson wondered what it would be like to return to Oakland after being traded. Apparently, he had nothing to worry about. It was all warm and fuzzy as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. It would have been nice if they could’ve continued that welcoming spirit. In the third, a “USA, USA, USA” chant had erupted. Sigh.
MLB Probable Pitchers for Saturday, September 17 (Who's Starting for Every MLB Team?) /
Jose Bautista hit his 20th home run in the 6th inning. Encarnacion hit his 19th in the 2nd. Both were solo shots. It would have been enough, but Russell Martin decided to get in on the fun and launched a 3-run shot that also came in the 6th. According to Jane Lee and Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Bautista’s home run ties him with Vernon Wells for 2nd place on the Blue Jays’ all time home run list with 223. Carlso Delgado leads the way with 336.
Ryan Tepara and Steve Delabar chipped in an inning each and kept the A’s off the board to wrap up this contest. I, for one, am happy to see Delabar turn things around and get back to being a valuable arm for the Blue Jays. Unlike Tepara, Delabar didn’t give up a hit or anything in his inning.