The Blue Jays dropped their 3rd straight game to the Braves, losing 8-4 in Atlanta on Wednesday night. The loss was overshadowed by the latest bat flip by Jose Bautista, who hit a late home run.
The Blue Jays had some solid momentum as recently as three days ago, but the Atlanta Braves have stopped them dead in their tracks over the last three games. After losing two straight in Toronto, the Braves defeated the Jays in the first game of their home set.
Joe Biagini made his third start for the Blue Jays and managed to recover from a disastrous start to post a decent outing overall. The Braves jumped all over the right-hander in the first, plating the first six batters they sent to the plate before Biagini had even recorded an out. The inning was capped by a Kurt Suzuki three run blast that cleared the bases.
After the home run, Biagini retired 12 straight and finished the outing on that positive note. In the first inning he allowed the 6 runs, 5 earned, and just 3 hits, walking 2 as well. Unfortunately the Blue Jays were unable to recover after the start, but it has to be considered a positive that Biagini was able to turn the outing around.
The Blue Jays did chip away at the score a bit throughout the game. Justin Smoak hit his 9th home run of the season, continuing his stretch of solid hitting. He finished the 2016 season with 14 home runs and 35 RBI, and he’s already sitting with 9 home runs and 27 RBI after 41 games.
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Jose Bautista also had a solid night at the plate, but unfortunately his effort was overshadowed in controversy in the 8th inning. All told he had 3 hits including a single, double, and the 8th inning blast.
After connecting with the pitch, Bautista paused and flipped his bat. Granted, it wasn’t quite as dramatically as the 2015 playoffs, but it was a bat flip nevertheless. The Braves took some exception, as Jace Peterson voiced his displeasure as he rounded first base, and Suzuki also had a few words for Bautista when he reached the plate.
Tensions rose and the players converged, but ultimately it didn’t develop into anything more than tempers flaring. There is one game remaining in the series, so it’ll be interesting to see if this carries into tomorrow’s game.
Kevin Pillar also appeared to take exception to Jason Motte‘s pitch in the 7th inning, which resulted in a strikeout. Pillar may have had a case that the pitch was thrown a little quickly, but it didn’t matter as he struck out to end the inning. Whatever he said wasn’t appreciated by Suzuki and the Braves in that instance either.