The Blue Jays were set to play their final game of a short home stretch on Sunday afternoon which happened to be Father’s Day, in downtown Toronto. The Rogers Centre saw another large crowd of 46,599 filled with hundreds if not thousands of fathers sitting alongside their partners, sons, and daughters, sharing this special day with their loved ones.
The Blue Jays also decided to acknowledge this celebration by handing out 20,000 Jays BBQ aprons and setting up a tribute and activity area for dads in the 200 level WestJet Flight Deck. The only other thing that could make the afternoon better was a win, one to salvage part of the series and avoid the sweep by the Chicago White Sox.
Blue Jays J.A. Happ was given the start and was hoping for a great performance, much like his previous outing on June 11th vs the Seattle Mariners where he went six innings and struck out eight. The Chicago White Sox sent James Shields to the mound and for the first four innings, it appeared the teams were evenly matched. Both were getting occasional hits or men on base yet it’d be followed up by a double play or an inning ending strike out; both sides were unable to score any runs.
Cracks started to show in the top of the 5th inning when Happ gave up four singles and a sacrifice bunt, giving the Sox a 3-0 lead. The Jays were able to put up a run in the bottom half when left fielder Steve Pearce hit a leadoff single against Shields and came around to score when center fielder Kevin Pillar connected with a line drive.
The Jays came to bat in the bottom of the 6th inning trailing the Sox 3-1. With two outs, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hit an infield single and scored when catcher Russell Martin hit his 7th home run of the season tying the game up at 3. Once again, Pearce got another base hit and scored all the way from first when second baseman Ryan Goins hit his first triple of the season. The inning ended with the Jays up over the Sox 4-3.
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Happ came out for the top of the 7th and was able to get two outs before allowing Melky Cabrera to hit a double and end his outing at 98 pitches. Jays right throwing Danny Barnes came on and got the final out of the inning.
The bottom half of the 7th saw the Jays designated hitter Kendrys Morales approach the plate. With one out and Jose Bautista on first base, Morales crushed a ball to left-center field, hitting his 15th home run of the season and increasing the score to 6-3. The Jays were then able to add on another run with a single, double and a walk ending the inning at 7-3.
Barnes stayed on to pitch a relatively painless and quick 8th inning followed up by Jays closer Roberto Osuna coming on for the 9th. Osuna only needed 13 pitches to get the 3 outs and give the Jays their 33rd win of the season.
The Jays left Toronto soon thereafter to head to Texas where they are set to take on the Rangers, Rougned Odor and company on Monday night. The Jays are sending Marco Estrada (4-5, 4.54 ERA) to the mound while the Rangers have scheduled Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-0, 3.28 ERA) as their starter. First pitch is set to go at 8:05 PM EST from Arlington.