The Blue Jays got back on the winning track tonight with a 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The victory brings the Blue Jays record to 40-29 and makes them the second team in the American League to break the 40-win plateau. It also widens the gap between Toronto and Baltimore to 4.5 games. If you're keeping score at home, the Blue Jays scored one less run against the Baltimore Orioles tonight than the Dutch National Team scored against Spain this afternoon.
On offence, Juan Francisco's two-run home run in the second inning drove home Brett Lawrie after he walked to give the Blue Jays an early lead. A 20-minute rain delay after the seventh inning slowed things down, but the game resumed and the offence got to work right away. In the eighth against Tommy Hunter, a walk, error, and wild pitch scored Anthony Gose, while Jose Reyes scored shortly thereafter on a Jose Bautista single.
On the pitching side of the ball Drew Hutchison was pretty good, going 7.0 innings before the rain delay ensured he wasn't coming out for the eighth. He allowed six hits and struck out three, while walking zero bringing his ERA down to 3.62 in the process. Hutchison pounded the strike zone throwing 70 of his 96 pitches for strikes and forcing the Orioles hitters into pitcher's counts. For Baltimore, Ubaldo Jimenez was not very good, but the Blue Jays were unable to do much damage to him. Jimenez went 6.0 innings striking out just two, while tying a season-high with five walks. The only runs Toronto scored on the right-hander were the two from Francisco's home run.
Brett Cecil relieved Hutchison in the eighth and made things interesting allowing a couple singles before hurting himself. If we're being honest, I was watching hockey at the time, but:
Cecil hurt here. Seems to be limping. Best guess up here is that he twisted his ankle on the mound. Dustin McGowan coming in to face Davis.— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) June 14, 2014
Dustin McGowan came in for Cecil (who actually hurt his groin) with men on first and second before getting the final strike needed to strikeout Chris Davis. Nelson Cruz then grounded out in a close play that was reviewed after Edwin Encarnacion's foot slipped off the bag just as he was catching the ball. McGowan came out again for the ninth and allowed just a single to bat-thrower Manny Machado before getting Delmon Young to fly out to end the game. Since the tying run was on deck when McGowan entered the game, he actually received his first MLB save. What a feel-good story he has been this year.
Jays of the Day are Drew Hutchison (+.450 WPA) and Juan Francisco (+.147).
Suckage Jay is Adam Lind (-.115), but I just realized he has a .331 batting average on the season so I don't really want to give him one.
Tomorrow is a 4:05 pm start in the third game of the four-game set, with R.A. Dickey taking on righty Bud Norris. See ya then!