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Today in Blue Jays History: J.P. Arencibia plays his first MLB game, homers twice

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Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Nine Years Ago Today

The Blue Jays beat the Rays 17-7.

The Blue Jays hit 8 home runs in this game: 2 by Aaron Hill, 1 each from Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Lyle Overbay.

And, of course, 2 by J.A. Arencibia. J.P. was playing in his first MLB game. He would go 4 for 5, with a double, to go along with the homers.

The future was looking bright.

From the recap:

Not a bad way to start your major league career. First pitch you see you hit out. Second time up a double. Then single. Fourth time up, another homer. He ended the day with a fly out. 11 total bases. 3 runs, 3 RBI. I think we ought to keep J.P. Arencibia. It would tough not to write his name in the lineup every day after this, but I’m sure Cito will find a way.

In case you were wondering, J.P. would start 9 of our remaining 52 games. Being fair, he would go on to hit .143/.189/.343 in 37 PA that season. He wouldn’t get a hit in 15 at bats in September.

Also from the recap:

Arencibia is just the 3rd Blue Jay to start his career with a home run. Alvis Woods and Junior Felix were the other 2. Great to see that when they tried to interview JP he got shaving creamed, had 2 buckets of Gatorade poured on him and got shaving creamed again. Please Cito, play him tomorrow.

Cito didn’t play him the next day.

There was a tweet by Jordan Bastian saying that, since 1900 no other player had 4 hits and 2 home runs in his MLB debut.

As you know, J.P.’s career didn’t go the way we hoped. He had a problem with breaking balls, and never learned to control the strikezone. He would end his career with 85 walks and 484 strikeouts.

He was a Blue Jay for 4 seasons, hitting .212/.258/.408 with 64 home runs, 380 games.

After the Jays he played 62 games for the Rangers, in 2014 (mostly at first base) and 24 games for the Rays in 2015.

His defense was always a work in progress, he had a decent arm, throwing out 27% of base stealers in hit career, but he allowed share of passed balls and wild pitches. If he had hit, we would have been ok with hit defense, but he didn’t hit. He seems like a great guy, was good with fans and good with kids.

J.P. is working as the “pre and post game analyst” for Marlins TV broadcasts.

Other performances of note:

Travis Snider led off, and was 2 for 2 with 2 walks.

Yunel Escobar went 3 for 6.

Bautista hit his 34th home run, leading the AL.

Edwin Encarnacion went 3 for 5 and made hit 10th error of the season.

On the pitching side:

Brad Mills started, gave up 5 runs in 4 innings.

Brian Tallet pitched 3 innings of relief, getting the win, allowing 2 unearned runs.

Jason Frasor pitched a scoreless inning.

David Purcey started the 9th, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks, getting just 1 out.

Casey Janssen got the last 2 outs of the game, giving up a hit and a walk, and allowing both of his inherited runs to score.