Look out, Blue Jays minor leaguers currently on vacation: the big club may be giving you a call soon because they are running out of healthy players. In a 9-5 loss to the Orioles, Kyle Drabek had to be removed from the game after being hit by a comebacker, and Adam Lind looked liked he tweaked his back after stopping awkwardly while rounding third.
The Blue Jays started the scoring when Jose Reyes singled in Josh Thole in the second inning, and they tacked on a couple more runs with two outs in the third with an Anthony Gose Triple and Josh Thole single. The Blue Jays actually outhit the Orioles 15-13, getting at least a hit in every inning and forcing starter Bud Norris out of the game after four innings, but failed to seal the deal on many occasions.
Toronto had a chance for a big inning in the top of the sixth: T.J. McFarland led off the inning with a leadoff walk to Jose Reyes. With Munenori Kawaski up, Reyes took off for second and Kawasaki tapped one softly towards first base. McFarland jumped off the mound to field it but missed it when he tried to grab it with his bare hand. Reyes saw the bobble and was able to advance to third. Brett Lawrie was then hit by McFarland and he loaded the bases with no outs. Unfortunately, Adam Lind proceeded to ground into a double play and Rajai Davis struck out. The Jays got just one run out of a bases loaded, no outs situation.
Esmil Rogers had a not-so-good start despite quick first and second innings. In the third, he gave up a single to Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who was making his major league debut. A batter later, Ryan Flaherty hit a towering homer onto Eutaw Street. Flaherty would later hit another homer (off Ricky Romero), giving him ten on the season, five of which came off of Blue Jays pitchers.
In the bottom of the fifth, Rogers gave up the go-ahead single to Nick Markakis, who eeked out a single that second baseman Ryan Goins almost got to. Aaron Loup was brought in to try to kill the rally, but a Chris Davis ground-rule double and an RBI-ground out later, the game was 6-3 for Baltimore. Rogers' line in what likely was his final start of the year was not pretty: 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 2 HR.
Pitching next for the Jays was Kyle Drabek, who didn't look very good. He gave up a lead off homer to Schoop, making Schoop the fourth batter to hit a homer in his major league debut against the Blue Jays. After a walk to Flaherty, Nate McLouth hit a hard grounder right off of Drabek's right leg, but Kyle did manage to pick up the ball and throw him out at first before being taken off he field by the training staff. According to Sportsnet, Drabek was diagnosed with a bone bruise after post-game X-rays showed no fractures.
Jeremy Jeffress came in and had another great outing. striking out three in 1.2 innings allowing only an infield single to Steve Pearce. He was firing the heaters that reached 97 mph, but he got two of his strike out victims (Chris Davis and Steve Clevenger) on devestating 80-mph curves.
Then Ricky Romero came in. The most positive thing I can say about his one-inning outing is that he eventually did get three outs after two walks and a homer. He allowed an infield hit too, but Brett Lawrie made it a very close play that could've gone either way at first. There should be some pity rule like "all close plays at first should go to the team that Romero is pitching for." Romero's ERA, albeit in a very small number of innings pitched, now sits at 11.05, a number no one wants on the back of his baseball card.
Turning back to the positives, both Munenori Kawasaki and Josh Thole had four-hit games, although the last two of Kawasaki's hits (which included a beautiful bunt single) barely made it 60 feet combined. This was Thole's third four-hit game of his career, and Kawasaki's first. Thole had as many hits Wednesday night as J.P. Arencibia has since August 29.
Adam Lind, who went 1-for-4, looked like he pulled something in his back after rounding third base and was in pain throughout the game. With Moises Sierra having an ankle problem, the Blue Jays' bench is getting surprisingly thin despite the expanded rosters.
Jays of the Day! Munenori Kawasaki!!!!!! (+.202 WPA), Jose Reyes (+.142), I'll also give it to Josh Thole (+.085) for the heck of it
Suckage Jays: Esmil Rogers (-.308), Kevin Pillar (-.190), Adam Lind (-.183), I'll also give one to Aaron Loup (-.090) for his ineffective relief. Giving one to Romero would be a dick move so I won't.
One more road game left, folks. Tomorrow the Blue Jays play the rubbermatch against the Orioles, Mark Buehrle will start against Miguel Gonzalez. Tune in.... or not.