Jays Don’t go Down Without a Fight: Fireworks in Texas
By Kaitlyn Bain
Fireworks flew in another dramatic game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers. There was an atmosphere reminiscent of the playoffs of 2015 as fans witnessed homeruns, rallies, back and forth scoring battles, manager ejections and Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion being hit by Ranger pitchers.
Oh yeah; and there were also two bench clearing, fist-flying brawls in the eighth started by Roughned Odor slugging Jose Bautista in the jaw after Bautista slid hard into Odor at second base.
The craziness started back in the third inning when the Jays’ first base coach Tim Leiper was ejected by first base umpire Dale Scott for arguing apparent balks (a carryover from Saturday’s game). In the bottom half of the third John Gibbons was ejected by Home Plate ump Dan Iassongna for arguing balls and strikes. Edwin was hit by Tom Wilhelmsen in the sixth inning and Bautista was hit by Matt Bush in the eighth.
After the first brawl Roughned Odor and bench coach Steve Buechele were ejected for the Rangers and Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson were ejected for the Jays. After Jesse Chavez hit Prince Fielder on the first pitch following the brawl, causing the benches to clear once more, Chavez was thrown out and so was Jays’ acting manager DeMarlo Hale. It shouldn’t surprise that there would be eight ejections in a game where tensions were running so high between the Jays and the Rangers.
The Jays had their leadoff man reach base 6 of 7 innings before the craziness took over in the eighth inning. The Rangers defence kicked the ball around in both the infield and the outfield. There was only one official error; however, the Rangers sloppy ball playing boosted the Blue Jays sluggers’ confidence in the late innings of the game allowing them to string together successive base hits.
Aaron Sanchez pitched a good game for the most part, but couldn’t get out of the seventh and left men on base for a no decision. Sanchez went 6.2 innings, allowed six runs on seven hits. The righty pitcher walked four and struck out six.
Cesar Ramos didn’t make it out of the fifth inning, going only 4.1 innings. Ramos gave up an earned run on seven hits, walking two batters and striking out four.
Kevin Pillar had a productive game going 2/4, scoring a run and getting two RBI’s. Pillar barely missed the solo home run that Adrian Beltre hit in the sixth inning making a fantastic leap over the wall in centre field in an attempt to stop the ball from leaving the park. Troy Tulowitzki also had a fantastic game going 3/5, scoring two runs.
The Jays come back to the Roger’s Centre on May 16th, fired up from their series against the Rangers. They will see Tampa Bay’s Drew Smyly (3.63 ERA) who will face off against J.A. Happ (2.05 ERA). Happ is 5-0 for the season.