At least the ninth was fun. It looked like the Jays would quietly go down 3-1, but naturally, the Jays saved the bulk of their offense for the ninth inning against 2019 All Star closer Shane Greene. Sogard bunted a pitch straight back to the pitcher, who rushed the throw and tossed wide of first base, allowing Sogard to reach. One out later, Gurriel had a heck of an at bat, fouling off tough pitches on a full count until he got a cutter middle down and tied the game with one swing.
Sadly, Nicholas Castellanos very much liked the first pitch he saw from Tim Mayza in the bottom of the 10th, and the Jays were walked off.
Just as they’ve done in the previous two games, the Jays scored their first run in the first. Freddy Galvis singled, then Lourdes Gurriel doubled a ball to left field that bounced just off Christin Stewart’s glove, driving home Galvis. It was a fairly questionable send from Rivera as Galvis was waved forward when the shortstop had the ball, and he was initially tagged out at home but Galvis requested a challenge in the “right way” (that is, calmly and not frantically, per BOTSO) and it was overturned.
After that, the Jays couldn’t get anything going off Tyler Alexander, who was recently recalled from AAA. They had only a lone Smoak walk and a Sogard single over the next seven innings, although Brandon Drury launched one that would have been a homer in almost any other MLB park, but it stayed in for a 418 foot out in center field.
As mentioned up top, the Jays denied Alexander his first big league win when they tied the game in the 9th
Teoscar Hernandez led off the 10th with a double, but Drury grounded out and a subbed in Danny Jansen hit a flare that Goodrum made an over the shoulder catch on. The Tigers then doubled off Hernandez who had long taken off and was being waved around home. Truly a missed opportunity.
Jacob Waguespack turned in a very respectable start. He went 5.1 innings giving up 3 earned runs over 9 hits, walking zero and striking out seven. It was the longest outing of his major league career.
The Tigers tied the game in the second. Brandon Dixon led off with a single, Niko Goodrum hit a double on a play just out of Drury’s reach, then Stewart had a pitch barely brush his jersey to load the bases with no outs. Bobby Wilson then hit a ball to third, which Drury grabbed and stepped on 3rd, then tossed it to Sogard at second who threw to Smoak almost turning a triple play, but Wilson beat it out by a split second. Waguespack got a strikeout to end the inning.
Detroit took the lead in the third. JaCoby Jones led off with a single, then one out later Nicholas Castellanos hit a ground rule double, which cost the Tigers a run at the time. However, Jeimer Candelario who was up next grounded out to score the run.
Waguespack also gave up a solo homer to Jones in the 5th. He gave up two singles sandwiched around a strikeout to start the 6th, and that was the end of his day. Joe Biagini came in and stranded both inherited runners, plus pitched a clean 7th. It was nice to see Charlie leave in a reliever who was doing well for more than one inning.
Derek Law pitched the 8th, with the Jays down by two. The first batter, Candelario, hit a ball into shallow left field, which both Drury and Gurriel came in to field. However, neither called for it and both watched as it dropped down right between them. A careless mistake that shouldn’t have happened, but it was Gurriel’s ball and part of his outfield learning curve.
David Phelps pitched a scoreless ninth, then the Tigers hit a solo homer to win it in the 10th. It is disappointing to not have completed the sweep, but at least the Jays walked away with the series win.
Jays of the Day: Gurriel (+.463 WPA), Phelps (.140), and let’s give on to Biagini too for his excellent day.
Blew Jays: Mayza (-.360), Drury (-.187), Grichuk (-.161), Galvis (-.145), and Waguespack (-.117). Jansen had the number too (-.198) but he was robbed of a hit.
We had only 129 comments in the GameThread on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Drinkin’ Wit’ Terrell Farley, unlike the Jays, walked away with the win.
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Up next: Ryan Borucki will make his season debut at home against a surging Cleveland team against Mike Clevinger at 7pm ET.
Of note: we will be back to our regularly scheduled summer lineup and Matt W will be writing your next several recaps.