The Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox opened a three-game series on Friday night in Toronto with a generous crowd of 39,000+ on hand ready to cheer and support their home team. The White Sox entered tonight’s game at seven games under .500.
From that statistic alone, many believed it was FINALLY time for the Jays to be at .500 baseball. The baseball gods, however, had a different idea; an idea that did not include a win for the Jays.
Blue Jays pitcher, Joe Biagini (1-5, 3.38 ERA), got the call to start Friday’s game. Almost from the get-go, it appeared the Sox had his number. Before the first out was even recorded, they had managed a triple, single and a walk. By the time the top of the 1st inning had ended, Biagini had thrown 26 pitches and Chicago was up 4-0.
Unfortunately, the pain only became worse after that. Biagini came out to pitch the top of the 2nd, getting a chance to redeem himself from the hiccups that occurred the previous inning. However well-intentioned and meaningful it might have been, the Sox were not in any forgiving or mercy mood. The first four batters all reached base before Jays manager, John Gibbons, decided to pull Biagini out of the fire but the damage was already done; it was now 7-0.
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Dominic Leone replaced Biagini in the 2nd and stayed in for two more strong innings after that. He finished his outing having given up 2 hits, allowing 1 earned run and striking out 4.
With a score of 8-1 favouring the Sox, Gibbons decided to start the 5th inning with a fresh arm, electing for the left-handed reliever, Jon Beliveau, for the task. After quickly getting the leadoff hitter out, the Sox retaliated by getting two players on base before ex-Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera, hit a 3 run home run over the left-field wall, making it an 11-2 game. It stayed that way until the 9th inning with 1 on and 2 outs, first baseman Justin Smoak hit his 19th home run of the season, making it an 11-4 game which ended up being the final score.
On a positive note, the Jays welcomed back outfielder Steve Pearce from the disabled list; in order to make room for him, the Jays sent down Chris Coughlan. Pearce and Jays designated hitter, Kendrys Morales, both managed to hit solo home runs which unfortunately didn’t do too much to impact the score.
The Jays and Joe Biagini need to quickly shake off this game, forget about allowing the 14 hits or 11 runs; it’s over, done and there’s nothing more to be had. Tomorrow is a new day; one that will see the Jays’ Marcus Stroman (7-2, 3.09) take the mound against White Sox Mike Pelfrey (2-5, 3.81 ERA). First pitch is scheduled to go at 1:07 PM EST from the Rogers Centre.