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Home runs from Bautista and Smoak help Jays beat Tigers

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 10 Tigers 5

We had a starting pitcher make it through the first inning without giving up runs! That, in itself, seemed like a win.

Marco Estrada only pitched 5 innings, but it looked like a Cy Young performance, compared to what we've seen of late. His first 4 innings were very good, he only allowed 3 base runners. In the fifth, he gave up a walk, single and 2-run triple and threw 30 pitches. We really need him (or someone) to go deeper than 5 innings, but he gave the Jays a chance to win.

Bo Schultz gave up a couple of solo homers in his 2 innings of work, but we had a nice lead by then.

Aaron Loup had a rough time in the eighth, he gave up a walk and 2 singles, to allow a run, while just getting 2 outs. Gibby brought in Roberto Osuna to get the last out of the inning (literally seconds after I said I'd be happy if we didn't see Osuna. Can't really blame Gibby, the way things are going, I'd want to lock down the win too).

On offense, it took us a while to get going, but the 6-run 5th put the game away. We scored:

  • 1 in the first: Jose Reyes doubled and Josh Donaldson singled him home to get us our first lead of the series.
  • 6 in the fifth: Danny Valencia walked. Kevin Pillar singled. Devon Travis doubled in 1. We got another on a Reyes ground out. Donaldson singled home the 3rd run of the inning. Jose Bautista and Justin Smoak homers put us up 7-0/
  • 2 in the seventh: Walks to Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Smoak started the inning and the first 2 scored on Russell Martin's single.
  • 1 in the ninth: Valencia doubled, Pillar had an infield single and Travis hit a not very deep fly, but Rajai Davis doesn't have the best arm and Valencia scored.

In total we had 12 hits and 7 walks. Reyes, Donaldson, Travis and Pillar had 2 hits each. The only Jay not to hit was Encarnacion (he had 2 walks). And, of course, Bautista and Smoak (his third of the month) had home runs.

Smoak also started one of the nicest 3-6-3 double plays that you'll ever see. I'd love to see the Jays play him every day for a couple of weeks (at least til the All-Star break) and let us see what he can do.

Travis made a very nice play to get the second out of ninth inning, going to the shortstop side of second to field a ball, and then turning and making a good throw to Reyes at second to get the force.

There was a Jayish moment on defense: On a fly to right center, Pillar and Bautista each figured the other would make the catch and watched it fall between them. Normally both of those two like to take charge. It didn't cost us, thankfully, but I'd like us to stop making those silly mistakes.

Jays of the Day: Estrada had the number (.211 WPA). Normally, I wouldn't give a JoD for a 5 inning start but, this is the Jays. Also give one to Travis (.125) and Donaldson (.112) and I'll give one to Bautista too.

No Suckage Jays. Edwin had the low number at -.076.

The Jays made the short trip to Chicago for 4 games against the White Sox.

We had 790 comments in the GameThread. I led us to victory. Yay me.

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