The first start off the disabled list did not go very well for Aaron Sanchez, and when the Jays went to the bottom of the 5th inning down 5-0, one could not have felt very good about their chances of extending their nascent win streak to five games. But there’s a reason the game is nine innings, and unlike other sports you can’t rundown the clock or rag the puck until the clock hits zero. And the Jays took full advantage to close and then overcome the deficit.
It started right after the Phillies put up four runs in the top of the 4th, as Nick Pivetta walked Justin Smoak leading off on a full count curveball. That brought in Kendrys Morales, riding a five game streak of hitting home runs. He promptly extended that to six in putting the Jays on the board. After Kevin Pillar singled on the infield, Danny Jansen doubled him to third with one out, and Teoscar Hernandez singled home a third run. Alas, Jansen neither scored on that or subsequently, as Aledmys Diaz grounded into a double play to strand the runner (though he more than atoned for that later).
Sanchez came back out for the 5th inning, but was unable to shut down the Phillies, allowing a double and single to put runners on the corners. It was a questionable call if the goal was to to win the game, as he really wasn’t sharp. In the early going, he ran a lot of deep counts and walked a couple batters, but worked out of trouble. By the second time through, he was getting hit and hit pretty hard. The Phillies plated their first run in the 3rd on a sac fly after back to back singles to open the inning.
They blew the game open in the 4th with three hard singles to load the bases with none out. Smoak momentarily saved further damage in yet another hard hit line drive that was at least two runs if it went down the line, but couldn’t come up with a ground ball down the line that plated two runs. Two more came in two batters later on a Rhys Hoskins single. In all, Sanchez went 4+ innings, charged with 6 runs on 10 hits against 2 strikeouts and 2 walks.
The bullpen did a phenomenal job holding the Phillies at bay. Jake Petricka did allow the lead inherited runner to score (after getting two outs without allowing him in first, ack). Tim Mayza pitched two perfect innings, striking out the side in the first of those. Biagini worked around a leadoff double in the 8th with a pair of strikeouts. Ken Giles got the first two outs of the 9th on two outs, allowed a double, but got a groundout back to him to record the save.
Ah, we’re missing a little bit between the Jays being down and Giles getting the save. The bats went quiet until Jansen hit another double leading off the 7th. A couple of strikeouts made it look like he’d be the anomoly, until Billy McKinney knocked his third career home run out to centre field to make it 6-5.
The Jays continued the rally in the 8th off Seranthony Dominguez, with Morales leading off with a single followed by a one out walk and Jansen painfully taking a 98 MPH fastball off his bare elbow. That was the end of his night, but the Jays exacted revenge for the HBP. Not with a stupid tit-for-tat, but by hitting the Phillies where it really hurts: in the standings. After Teoscar struck out, Diaz mashed a ball off the wall in centre to plate off reliever Victor Arano to score Jansen and the two runners ahead of him, thereby sending the Phillies down to defeat.
Super Jay of the Day: Diaz (+0.419 WPA)
Jays of the Day: Jansen (+0.281), Morales (+0.143). And though none individually hit the number, the entire bullpen collectively.
Suckage: Sanchez (-0.335), Tesocar (-0.134)
Tomorrow, the Jays will go for an improbable sweep with Marco Estrada taking on Vince Velasquez at 1:05 eastern.