The Blue Jays offence continued to hit with their A-game as they scored seven runs in the first 3three innings, including in the 1st before the Baltimore Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez could even record a 2nd out. Make it three out of four for the Blue Jays, who held on in the final frame for a 10-9 win.
Every one of those runs would prove to be crucial as the Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez was far from at the top of his game, giving up six earned runs in five innings, including three home runs in the 5th inning on route to allowing a career high four homers in a game. This raised his season earned run average up to 3.38.
The onslaught in the first inning, something that the Blue Jays did quite a bit last year that’s seemed to be missing this year, came on the strength of four doubles.
It all started with Ezequiel Carrera (starting in place of the injured Jose Bautista) who led things off with a double, only to be cashed in quickly thanks to an opposite field ground rule double into the corner off the bat of Josh Donaldson. After Encarnacion drove in Donaldson, Kevin Pillar brought in one with a double and Devon Travis drove in two.
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Following the onslaught, Ubaldo Jimenez was pulled making way for long-man Vance Worley, who calmed the Blue Jays offence down to the tune of two earned runs over four and a third innings.
Following some tack-on runs in the 2nd and 3rd inning to take a 7-1 lead, the Orioles finally got themselves in the game. Going into the 5th inning down 7-2 (after Pedro Alvarez hit a homer to deep centre field), Baltimore brought themselves to within one run as they got home runs off the bat of Adam Jones, Chris Davis (his 5th straight game with a homer) and Matt Wieters.
After that Aaron Sanchez was taken out of the game (following 106 laboured pitches) and John Gibbons brought in Jesse Chavez with the hopes of slowing down the Orioles juggernaut offence. The move paid off as Chavez struck out the side in the 6th inning.
This turned out to be a vital stop, as the Jays came back to strike for three runs in the bottom of the 6th, thanks to a 3-run home run off the bat of catcher Russell Martin.
Next out of the bullpen came Pat Venditte (he of the switch-pitching nature) who shut the Orioles down for 1 and 2/3 innings before serving up Adam Jones’ second home run of the game, a two run shot.
Jason Grilli, who pitched the 9th in yesterday’s game, came on for the save in the ninth with a two run lead. He just barely escaped loading the bases and needing the help of an excellent leaping catch by Carrera in right field. For the second game in a row, however, Grilli finished things with an 80-grade fist pump(s).
The Blue Jays received another great game from Edwin Encarnacion, who managed to run off a streak of nine straight plate appearances in which he reached base (including 3 home runs), and finished his day 2-for-4 with a double, walk, stolen base and three runs scored.