Jul 9, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcherR.A. Dickey
(43) delivers against the Chicago White Sox in the second inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Wrapping up a three game set in Oakland, the Blue Jays got a bit of a gift with Scott Kazmir being traded to the Houston Astros earlier in the day. After looking at what Houston’s price was to acquire Kazmir, some fans were skeptical as to why the Jays were unable to make a trade to send the southpaw to Toronto. However, with the Jays in the thick of the American League playoff race, the club caught a break in having to face a collection of relievers (instead of Kazmir) ahead of meeting King Felix in Seattle.
Russell Martin got things going with a monster home run to deep right centre for the Jays, giving them an early 2-0 lead. Martin would finish the game with 2 hits, 2 runs and 3 RBI’s.
The A’s responded by tying the game in the 3rd on a Billy Burns single and a Josh Reddick groundout. Throughout this series, Burns has really impressed with his ability to put the ball in play and make things happen on the base paths.
The Jays hit right back in the 4th inning, with Martin and Chris Colabello hitting back-to-back doubles, the latter scoring the Jays catcher.
In the 5th, Josh Donaldson continued his great return to Oakland with another big home run to centre field. The O.Co Coliseum is a huge stadium, and it was very impressive to see Jays hitters blast home runs to the deepest parts of the ball park.
In the 6th, Martin yet again provided the offence, driving in Edwin Encarnacion with a deep sacrifice fly. After a bit of a rough stretch at the plate, Martin really delivered during this series in Oakland.
A few notes:
- R.A. Dickey was simply fantastic at a time that the Blue Jays really needed him to be on. The Jays will need to consistently win series’ in order to stay in the playoff hunt, and Dickey was up to the task on Thursday afternoon. The team could have been staring at a 1-2 start to the road trip with King Felix on the mound tomorrow night, so this was a big performance by Dickey today.
- John Gibbons appears to have found another go-to reliever in Bo Schultz. After using Roberto Osuna for nearly two innings last night, Schultz was handed the ball with 1 out and 1 runner on in the ninth inning.
- With the win, the Jays have improved to 4-2 after the All Star break, which are exactly the kind of results they’ll need if they want to challenge for a division title.