Blue Jays secure sweep over first-place Braves as Danny Jansen walks it off
By Eric Treuden
What a way to end the Mother's Day contest between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves. Danny Jansen and the Jays managed to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth, knocking the Braves out of town while securing a three-game sweep.
Sunday's game was far from perfect, though. Yusei Kikuchi's start did not go according to plan, as he surrendered three home runs and five runs (four earned) in just four innings of work. He struck out seven batters but the home runs are what came back to knock him out of the game early once again.
Fortunately, the relief pitching corps was in dominant form to round out the game and keep the Braves from scoring any more runs. Anthony Bass, Jay Jackson, Trevor Richards and Nate Pearson combined to throw five shutout innings with just one hit allowed and five strikeouts.
On both sides of the ball, the defensive play was absolutely atrocious. For the Blue Jays, Matt Chapman, one of the very best defenders at third base in the league, made two errors; one fielding and one throwing. For the Braves, it seemed like there was one miscue an inning, but the final box score will tell you there were only three official errors committed. Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson and Kevin Pillar all made fielding errors, each of them on plays that appeared to be routine.
These errors undoubtedly played a massive role in the Blue Jays' victory, but the Jays offense looked sharp as well. Each of George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Brandon Belt, Jansen and Santiago Espinal had at least two hits, with the club hitting only one home run. The Blue Jays have done an exceptional job of putting wins together this year without relying heavily on the home run, which is nice to see after the club seeming to be such a "home run or bust" type of club over the past decade or so.
Next up for the Blue Jays is a trio of series against American League East opponents, the Yankees, Orioles and Rays. Game 1 against the Yankees is set for Monday evening as Alek Manoah prepares to take on perennial Cy Young candidate, "TBD".