Nathan Lukes stepping up in the clutch for the Blue Jays is the content we all needed to see

Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers
Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Nathan Lukes had been patiently waiting for his chance to contribute after so much time spent on the bench and in the minors this season.

That chance came for the 28-year-old late during Sunday’s dramatic 4-3 extra-innings triumph over the Detroit Tigers.

After being added to the roster as a replacement for George Springer, who was placed on the Paternity List, Lukes was inserted into Sunday’s game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning.

Thanks to Danny Jansen’s clutch, game-tying home run, Nathan would get a chance to step up to the plate, something he had not done since June 13th. He found himself in the batter’s box with one out and a runner on first in the top of the tenth inning.

It was a massive opportunity, and with the speedy Daulton Varsho on base, a go-ahead run was a real possibility with a well-struck ball.

It didn’t take long for Lukes to seize the moment and come up with the biggest hit of his young MLB career. He sent a first-pitch José Cisnero offering down the left-field line just fair for a double that sent the scurrying Varsho home with the eventual game-winning run. 

It was pure jubilation for the long-time minor-leaguer, who has been in the majors for most of the year and hasn’t received much playing time.

That’s unlikely to change as this latest stint with the “big club” is expected to be short. Now that Springer has returned, he’ll take his usual place atop the lineup and patrolling right field most days. It's worth noting that Ernie Clement was sent down to Triple-A to welcome Springer back, so Lukes has earned a longer stay on the big league club.

Lukes' tireless work is part of what made his RBI double so special. He had to grind to make the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster and knew there likely wouldn’t be much playing time for him unless disaster struck.

He’s played capably in the field and hasn’t looked overwhelmed in 20 at-bats, and staying ready without facing live pitching presents some stiff challenges.

Although Lukes could be Buffalo-bound again in the near future, Sunday’s timely hit provided him with a memory that he, his family, and many fans won’t soon forget.