Going into the 5th inning, Taijuan Walker had a no-hitter going and it looked like one of those days that the Jays make a bad pitcher look good (well, bad pitcher is the wrong term, a pitcher that's having a rough start to the season). Then Kevin Pillar leads off with a bloop single down the right field line, one of those lucky, barely made contact hits. Ryan Goins followed, and after a pitchout for ball one, Goins turned on a fastball and pulled it into the right field seats. It wasn't a cheapy, he hit it good. Two outs later, Russell Martin hit a fly in front of center fielder Dustin Ackley, which bounced over his head for a double, and Edwin Encarnacion followed with a home run. We went from being no-hit to being up 4-1.
We scored 4 more in the 7th and turned it into a runaway. Consecutive hits from Encarnacion, Chris Colabello, Justin Smoak and Ezequiel Carrera (a beautiful bunt single) got us 2 runs. Then back-to-back walks for Pillar and Goins (what are the odds against those two have back-to-back walks?) got us another run. Then, pinch hitting, Steve Tolleson hit into what, at first, was called a 5-4-3 double play, but Gibby challenged and Tolleson was safe, giving us our 8th run. On first view, I thought he was safe, but, I figured with a 7-2 lead we wouldn't challenge. Thankfully, Gibby was smarter than me.
It was a great day for our offense (even with a lineup that didn't look particularly exciting). We had 10 hits and 6 walks. Everyone in the starting lineup had at least 1 hit (Edwin and Colabello each had 2) except for Josh Donaldson. Josh had a tough day at the plate, going 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts.
Also having a great day was Aaron Sanchez. He went 6.2, allowed 7 hits, 2 earned, just 2 walks with 4 strikeouts. He gave up a home run to Kyle Seagar, but not too much else that was hit hard. He's had a nice month of May, going 3-2, with a 3.34 ERA in 32.1 innings over 5 starts. That's really nice to see. He kind of had to show us that he could have some good starts, or he would have ended up in the bullpen. I'd much rather have him as a starter.
Roberto Osuna came in to relieve Aaron, with a runner on and 2 outs. He came back from down 3-0 on the count to get to a full count and get a fly out to right. Thankfully Carrera was playing right today and not Colabello. It wasn't a terribly tough catch but I'm not sure Chris would have made it.
After we scored 4 in the bottom of the 7th, to give us a 6 run lead, Gibby brought in Aaron Loup and Liam Hendriks to pitch the 8th and 9th respectively. They both did a nice job, Loup getting 2 strikeouts and Hendriks 3.
Also of note, we won two challenges. In the first, the Mariners had a runner on 3rd and 2 outs, when Nelson Cruz hit a ground ball on which Goins made a nice play, but not the best of throws (on the run), the umpired ruled that Smoak came off the bag, to make the catch, but replays showed that he didn't come off until after the catch. That saved Sanchez a run. And then the challenge in the bottom of the 7th, which gave us a run.
And, what was likely the most impressive defensive play of the day, Russell Martin showed off his arm, throwing out Chip Taylor trying to steal, in the 5th, giving us a strikeout/throw out double play. I don't know why they keep trying to steal off Martin.
Jays of the Day: Sanchez (.144 WPA), Edwin (.225) and Goins (.231).
No Suckage Jays, Donaldson came closest at -.090.
The Jays have the White Sox coming to town and Jose Reyes will, very likely, be activated for series. We are only 4.5 games back of first (man, the AL East has been awful), but let's gets some wins in a row before worrying about that.
We had 587 comments, in a much happier GameThread. Well, happier after the 5th inning, when we scored. Momus3 led us to victory. Great job sir.
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