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Pearce Steals the Show, Blue Jays Win!

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The pitching was superb, aside from 1 mistake.

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Blue Jays 4 - Angels 1

In a tense game that had it’s moments of frustration, Steve Pearce sent everyone home happy. With 2-on, 2-outs and a 2-2 count in the top of the 9th, Pearce hit a liner into the left field corner. Buck Martinez, in contrast of his usual willing of the ball to get out, was screaming “get down ball, get down”, but the ball had better ideas and cleared the fence for a 3-run home run.

The story up until that point had been the pitching. Marcus Stroman, coming back from 6 weeks on the DL with shoulder inflammation, went 5 shutout innings, striking out 5 while allowing 1 walk and 6 singles (5 of them grounders just past the fielders). He was pulled after 5 innings and 81 pitches, trying to avoid overtaxing his recently healed shoulder.

Of the Angels’ 6 singles, 2 of them and the walk came with 1 out in the 3rd inning, loading the bases right after the Jays had taken the lead. Stroman got a short fly ball to CF, and Kevin Pillar made the catch and threw a perfect one hopper to Martin at home, getting the double play and keeping the Angels off the board.

The Blue Jays couldn’t muster much offense against rookie Jaime Barilla, despite getting 8 baserunners in 5 innings. Barilla, who had all of 10 walks in 45.1 innings coming in to today, walked 4 and allowed 2 singles, a double to Kevin Pillar, and a home run to Teoscar Hernandez, who opened the scoring in the 3rd inning. Prior to the Pearce home run, the Jays were 0-5 with runners in scoring position, stranding 7 baserunners.

But for a moment, the Jays bullpen looked like they would make it hold up. Aaron Loup started the 6th inning, and got both lefties out, but they sandwiched yet another groundball single. Tyler Clippard came in and got out of the inning unscathed. He followed that up with a scoreless 7th inning, which included Teoscar Hernandez picking up his 5th outfield assist of the season, and the second double play started from the outfield today.

Seunghwan Oh started the 8th inning with a pair of strikeouts, and got Luis Valbeuna down 1-2. But Oh’s fastball wasn’t quite high enough, and Valbuena destroyed the baseball to right field, and included a nice looking bat flip. Oh got the strikeout to end the inning, and vultured the win as Pearce hit the home run in the top half of the 9th. Tepera pitched a perfect bottom half for his 6th save.

The Blue Jays pounded out 8 hits and also drew 7 walks, which makes scoring only 4 runs (and just 1 before Pearce’s home run) kinda sad. They hit into 3 double plays, and Russell Martin was caught stealing second, which cut into the number of baserunners.

Every starter got on base in this one, with Teoscar Hernandez being the only one with a multi-hit effort.

Jays’ of the Day: Pearce (.459), Stroman (.296) and Clippard (.167). I’ll also give one to Teoscar (.088), since he had the big home run early, and also had the outfield assist in the 7th.

Suckage Jays: Oh (-.200) and Grichuk (-.119, 0-3 with a walk, failed to get an outfield assist like everyone else).

The gamethread had all of 288 comments, a sign that it was Saturday night, and perhaps the Jays’ season isn’t going so well. But regardless, Alan F. led us to sweet, sweet victory. Good job!

# Commenter # Comments
1 Alan F. 53
2 lalalaprise 51
3 TimmyMax 40
4 Eric H 37
5 Drinkin' Wit' Terrell Farley 25
6 Matt W 19
7 DangYouToHeck 17
8 delv213 13

Come back tomorrow afternoon as the Jays wrap this 4 game set up. The game is scheduled for 4:07 ET.