The Blue Jays rode another dominant performance from J.A. Happ, and an offensive breakout from Troy Tulowitzki to beat the Giants for the second consecutive night
On Tuesday night the Blue Jays looked to secure a series win against the San Francisco Giants, sending J.A. Happ to the hill against Matt Cain in the second of a three game set. Happ had a tough-luck history with the Giants, as he was 0-4 before Tuesday. He put that all behind him quickly with a dominant outing, continuing the excellence by the Jays’ starting staff this season.
Happ entered the game as arguably the Blue Jays best pitcher thus far this season, coming in at 4-0 with an ERA of 2.50. Many Jays fans and critics were quick to criticize the club for bringing back the left-handed starter, but thus far it’s been a stroke of brilliance. He continued that dominant start with both his arm and his bat, contributing a single to left field as well.
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Troy Tulowitzki came into the game 101st out of 102 qualifying hitters in the American League, trailing only Oakland’s Chris Coghlan, and leaving many coaches and fans scratching their heads. However, the former All-Star showed some signs of life with the bat, opening the scoring in the 2nd inning with a solo shot to left field. The blast was the shortstop’s 19th career home run against the Giants, primarily from his time with the Colorado Rockies. The home run was also Tulowitzki’s 199th career home run.
Matt Cain also pitched very well, giving the Giants his longest outing of the season with 8 complete innings, allowing only 2 earned runs and 6 hits. Michael Saunders got to Gain in the 7th inning with a one out triple to right centre, before Tulowitzki provided a sacrifice fly for his second RBI of the evening. Josh Donaldson came very close to putting the Blue Jays further ahead, but the Giants’ Denard Span robbed him of a hit by crashing into the wall in centre.
Tulowitzki later added a key RBI double in the 9th as well to pad his excellent game, before Russell Martin knocked him in as well to make it 4-0 for Toronto.
The Blue Jays turned nifty double plays in both the 4th and 6th innings to avoid the limited trouble Happ got himself into. The southpaw allowed only 1 hit through the first 5 innings, and finished with a line of no runs on 6 hits, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts over 111 pitches. Happ only threw 79 pitches to get through 7 innings and looked like an ace on Tuesday, but was just shy of completed the shutout.
He also picked up his defence with a big strikeout of pitch hitter Trevor Brown in the 8th, after an error by Tulowitzki nearly spoiled the shutout. Closer Roberto Osuna came on to get the final out in the 9th in a non-save situation. Osuna loaded the bases with a walk to bring the tying run to the plate in Jarrett Parker, but Parker struck out to end the game.