A very happy Fathers' Day for Blue Jays dads was guaranteed this afternoon as the Blue Jays beat the Rangers 7-2 to complete a Texas-sized four-game sweep in Arlington, outscoring them 24-4. The sweep pushed the Blue Jays' win streak to a season-high five games.
The last time Toronto had a five-game winning streak was en route to a six-game streak between May 10 and May 16, 2011. After the disastrous start to the season, it was written that they need to string together a few long winning streaks, so it's nice to see the club start working on it. The Blue Jays are now 32-36 (.471), 3.5 game back of the fourth-place Tampa Bay Rays and 5.5 back of the Rangers for the second wild card, with four teams in between. It is much, much too early to watch the standings, but it's good to see that the start of the season hasn't completely buried the Jays.
Starter Chien-Ming Wang looked good in his second start for the Blue Jays, becoming the third starter in the series to pitch seven innings. He was far from perfect, giving up seven hits (six singles and a double) and two walks, but he always got out of jams, with the Rangers leaving eight men on base. He was taken out of the game after the seventh after he and pitching coach Pete Walker appeared to discuss about something on Wang's fingers.
Juan Perez, who hadn't pitched since June 9, was called in to finish the final two innings. His awkward delivery got him through a clean eighth, but in the ninth he loaded the bases thanks in part to a Mark DeRosa error at third, which allowed Elvis Andrus to dribble home the Rangers' only run on an infield single. Neil Wagner came in and made things interesting when he walked in a run and allowed Adrian Beltre to hit a long fly ball to the warning track in left, but Emilio Bonifacio was here to secure the last out of the game.
Offensively, the Blue Jays got an early lead again, with J.P. Arencibia hitting his second two-run shot of the series (the Blue Jays had four two-run homers against the Rangers this series) over the wall in left field in the top of the second. Rangers starter Derek Holland was tagged again a couple of innings later when Colby Rasmus took an inside pitch deep, hitting the right field foul pole, pretty much where Adam Lind's Saturday homer struck. Flash forward to the seventh, and Jose Bautista made the score 4-0 when he looped an RBI-single to the left field gap.
Kyle McClellan then walked Edwin Encarnacion when the blue-hot Lind hit a deep three-run homer to score the Jays' fifth, sixth, and seventh runs. This was the fifth game in June that Lind has had three or more hits. His season average is now at an even .350. Major league rules state that a player must have at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game before he can qualify for the batting title. Through 68 Blue Jays games, Lind has had 206 PA. If he gets 14 PA in the next four games, then he'll become qualified. Right now, his .350 average would rank him third behind Yadier Molina and Miguel Cabrera's .352.
EDIT: I forgot to write about this huge play by Edwin Encarnacion, stabbing a Nelson Cruz line drive at third. That could've prevented two runs in the fourth. I missed it when I was standing in line returning something at Sears (exciting Sunday).
Jays of the Day! Wang (+.353), Arencibia (+.193). Lind's homer came with a 4-0 lead so he just recorded a +.050 WPA despite a 3-for-5 day.
Suckage Jays: None.
The Blue Jays are returning to Rogers Centre on Monday to start a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies, with Josh Johnson slated to pitch if his health permits. The Jays' batters will be facing their second and third straight southpaw starters as the Rockies trot out Jorge De La Rosa and Jeff Francis. I doubt John Gibbons will sit Adam Lind for those games.