On a night when nearly all of Toronto sports fans had their focus on Buffalo for the NHL Draft, the Blue Jays travelled to Chicago for their first game of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.
It was their first of 17 games without a day off leading up to the All-Star break where they've historically struggled. Getting the start for the White Sox was left-hander Carlos Rodon, who despite his 4+ ERA, is having a solid year. With that, Junior Lake was recalled from Buffalo in attempt to input a right-handed bat versus both Rodon Friday night and fellow southpaw Chris Sale Sunday.
While taking a day off in the field, Michael Saunders still made his presence felt at the plate as the team's DH for the evening. His double off the left-field wall in the second inning presented Kevin Pillar the opportunity to break the scoring with a bloop single, making it 1-0.
Facing off against Rodon for the Jays was Aaron Sanchez who was effective despite not having his best stuff on the evening. The curveball seemed a little loopy at times and I'm sure even he would tell you he regretted not finishing a couple which resulted in pitches left up in the zone. Former Blue Jay Melky Cabrera took advantage of one of those hangers in the 4th inning, hitting his 8th home run of the campaign and would end up with three hits versus Sanchez on the evening.
The men in Blue did answer back in the 6th inning thanks to a diving effort by, you guessed it, Kevin Pillar.
With Saunders on third, thanks to a Rodon baulk, Pillar hit a slow rolling ground ball to first baseman Todd Frazier who made an incredible diving stab to glove it. Quickly, he threw the ball to Rodon who was covering but was unable to find the bag to get the out against the diving Pillar. Effectively, it was 2-1.
The Sox would add another off Sanchez in the 5th, effectively ending his evening after six innings as he allowed just two runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking one. Replacing him was Jesse Chavez who unfortunately was tagged with the loss thanks to an untimely and unfortunate bounce by the glove of Josh Donaldson that went for a double. Eventually, Todd Frazier singled making it 3-2 as the score would stay.
Sure the Jays would threaten in the bottom of the 9th but that proved empty as closer David Robertson stymied the Jays bats.
In other news, John Gibbons was ejected in the 9th inning of the game while arguing a foul-tip, if you can believe that. It was very ground breaking and potentially game changing as most ejections are.