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Randal Grichuk hits two home runs, Jays win

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles 3 Blue Jays 5

So, raise your hand if you figured that, after 2 starts, Matt Shoemaker would have pitched 14 shutout innings. In the two starts he’s allowed just 4 hits, 3 walks with 15 strikeouts. When I saw him in the spring training games, I figured him for 2 home runs again per game. It isn’t like he’s been getting a lot of luck (though Richard Urena made some great catches at third base). He’s just been very good.

On offense, it seemed like we were stinging the ball, hitting it hard all game, but finding gloves. I think there were 8 really hard hit balls that found gloves. There may have been more. In the 7th inning alone there were two hard line drives right to Chris Davis at first base, on either side of a nice Urena single. We could have had a big inning building there.

We did get 10 hits. And we scored in the first inning! Randal Grichuk had a 1-out double and came home on a Teoscar Hernandez hit that was called a single plus a throwing error.

Grichuk had a solo homer in the 3rd inning (blasted 425 feet to left center). Before that Luke Maile beat out an infield single (yeah I know, hard to believe, and he slipped coming out of the batter’s box making it even harder to believe), but Billy McKinney lined one hard back up the middle but right into the glove of pitch Jimmy Yacabonis. Maile didn’t have a chance to get back to the bag at first and was doubled off.

And Grichuk had a second solo home run in the 8th inning. I wish I put up a poll yesterday, if I put one up today everyone would be happy with it. We got two more in the 8th. With 2 outs, Teoscar Hernandez walked (a very nice at bat), Rowdy Tellez singled and Lourdes Gurriel doubled (Lourdes was out trying to go for third). Lourdes had his first and second hits of the season today.

That was our best day at the plate so far this season. It is good to see the guys relax a bit at the plate. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.

Joe Biagini pitched an excellent 8th inning.

In the 9th? Well, even though Ken Giles was warmed up, we ‘didn’t want to burn our closer’ (because, of course, having him warm up isn’t work for his arm) Montoyo brought in Daniel Hudson instead. Hudson made a game of it. He got a fly out then gave up back-to-back singles. Trey Mancini followed that with a 3-run homer and in comes Giles.

Thankfully Giles got 2 quick strikeouts and we won. Ken gets his 2nd save of the season.

Jays of the Day: Shoemaker (.412 WPA) and Grichuk (.158, for 2 homers and a double. He didn’t have a lot of work in CF).

Suckage: Billy McKinney (-.119, for an 0 for 4, with a k). He, Smoak and Galvis were the only Jays not to get a hit. And let’s give one to Hudson for bringing up out blood pressure.

The Jays are now 3-4 on the season. The record is better than the way the games have felt, but we are ahead of the Red Sox and the Yankees.

We had 779 comments in the GameThread. TimmyMax led us to victory. Great job sir.

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