The Toronto Blue Jays extended their losing streak to three games after losing 5-2 to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Blue Jays are now a pathetic 53-83 (.390) in National League parks during Interleague play since it began in 1997 and have now lost 8 of the last 11 series on the road during Interleague. Perhaps their contract with the Man in White does not include his services in the NL.
Drew Hutchison had the start for Toronto and again suffered from a big inning, this time coming in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Michael Bourn singled and Brian McCann walked on four pitches with two outs. Atlanta Braves' 2B Dan Uggla stepped up to the plate and slammed a three-run homer to center field on a hanging fastball. Hutchison did learn from that mistake and forced Uggla to chase high and struck him out in the next at bat.
The Jays' batters tried to respond right away in the top of the 4th. Jose Bautista just missed a homer by getting under a ball and flew out to deep left--it would probably have been a homer at the Rogers Centre. Right after that, Edwin Encarnacion stung a liner right at Braves 3B Martin Prado, who made a pretty play to throw him out.
Fast forward two innings to the top of the 6th, and better luck falls on the Blue Jays. After a two-out single by Colby Rasmus, Bautista hit starter Tommy Hanson's first pitch fastball into the left field bleachers to make the game 3-2. Encarnacion then hit another stinger, but this time Prado could not get a grip on it and deflected it into left field for a single. Kelly Johnson then slammed a long flyball that turned into a loud third out on an incredible leaping catch by LF Jose Constanza at the wall. In that inning the Jays strung together three straight hits, but they got only two other hits in the entire game.
Another piece of bad new for the Blue Jays: LF Rajai Davis re-jammed his middle finger on a swing-and-miss third strike in the 5th. He was replaced by Mike McCoy. We will have to see what happens if Davis is out for an extended period. Whatever happened to the logjam in left field?
Some other game tidbits:
- Leadoff hitter Brett Lawrie is on a pretty cold streak right now. His last hit was in the second game of the roadtrip against the White Sox.
- Kelly Johnson had a pretty pathetic slide into second (well almost into second) in a successful pitchout attempt. GIF anyone?
- Great Flyin' Michael Hayward! He had a great diving catch on Mike McCoy's flare to right-center in the top of the 7th.
- With the Jays down 3-2 going into the bottom of the 7th inning, Jays TV broadcaster Buck Martinez said "It's another one-run ballgame for the Blue Jays, it's a bad formula." When he said the last syllable of the sentence, Andrelton Simmons hit the first homer of this Major League career.
- We saw the Blue Jays' execute their first double-switch of the season. When manager John Farrell took Hutchison out of the game, he inserted Yan Gomes into the pitchers' spot (which was slated to lead off in the top of the 8th), sending him to left field, and he placed reliever Luis Perez into Mike McCoy's spot. Wow! National League strategy!
- Hutchison, batting left-handed, hit two weak grounders and finished 0-for-2. At least the former shortstop did not strike out!
- Losing sucks.
Jays of the Day! Jose Bautista (+.152), and he is the only Blue Jay with a positive WPA.
Suckage Jays. Drew Hutchison (-.238).
The Blue Jays offense looks to wake up tomorrow, but they will be facing the Braves' pitching prospect Julio Teheran, who will be pitching for the scratched Tim Hudson. Ricky Romero, the last Jays pitcher to get a base hit, will be the starter tomorrow. Game time is 1:35 pm.