In an injury-depleted rotation for the Blue Jays right now, the performance of Trent Thornton has been a needed boost, especially on the road.
Trent Thornton turned in another impressive start on Sunday and it was no surprise that it came on the road again, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Chicago White Sox.
Despite the no-decision, he threw six innings and limited the White Sox to just one run on three hits and a walk.
The rookie right-hander was coming off his first major league win, a seven-strikeout performance against the Giants allowing just three hits. And then earlier this month Thornton threw seven strong innings against the Rangers allowing one hit and two walks.
What do these three May starts have in common for Thornton? They were all played away from the Rogers Centre.
While it’s always comforting pitching in your home park, with splits like these Thornton might find himself hoping for more starts away from home.
Home starts (five): 0-3, 20 innings, 6.75 ERA, 25 hits, six home runs, nine walks, 24 strikeouts
Away starts (five): 1-1, 29 innings, 2.79 ERA, 16 hits, two home runs, 13 walks, 26 strikeouts
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Three of those five starts on the road have come in the month of May which means he is pitching well of late after a tough April, aside from a two-inning, five-run start against the Twins. If you take away that game, the former North Carolina Tar Heel has allowed just seven hits and three runs during his other three starts this month.
But more importantly, he’s been able to provide the Blue Jays with something they’ve really needed over the first month and half of the season… the ability to pitch every fifth day.
Thornton has thrown 49 innings, third on the club behind Marcus Stroman and two innings shy of Aaron Sanchez. With Matt Shoemaker done for the year, three other starters currently on the injured list, and blister issues again for Sanchez, the Jays have to be feeling good about shipping Aledmys Diaz to Houston in November for Thornton.
The first two innings of games have gone better for Thornton recently which has allowed him to settle in but his ability to limit the long ball and keep runners on base is what has made him more effective in the month of May.
Thornton’s next start will likely come on Friday against the Padres who have the highest strikeout rates in baseball and own the fourth-lowest batting average against right-handed pitchers but he will need to be cautious as the club still has no issues putting the ball out of the park.