Randal Grichuk’s bat stayed red hot with two home runs that both times put the Jays ahead and for most of the afternoon looked like they mght have have to stand on their own in th scoreboard. It was the story of the series really, as the Jays completed the sweep with Grichuk posting 11 RBI that came up just shy of Josh Phelps’ franchise record of 13.
While the ending was happy, the early going was not particularly encouraging. Tommy Milone struck out the side in the first, and though Grichuk homered leading off the second, the Jays went very quietly and anemically in order in about three minutes combined over the 3rd and 4th innings.
The Jays were still clinging to the 1-0 lead at that point, despite Tanner Roark being very shaky. In both fo the first two innings, the Orioles had their first two batters reach, but failed to push anything across. Roark was better in the 3rd with a pair of strikeouts, but the fourth was more of the same. Hanser Alberto doubled leading off, and old friend Dwight Smith Jr. punched another hard hit single to right. That was bad enough on its own, but Tesocar Hernandez let the ball roll right under his glove and almost to the wall, scoring Alberto and putting Smith on third.
He promptly scored following another single to put the Orioles up 2-1, and again they threatened to break it open as Cedric Mullins followed with a single and took second on a mental miscue by Anthony Alford throwing the ball back to the wrong base. At this point Teoscar redeemed himself by throwing out Pat Valaika at home attempting to score on a fly ball. At the end of the day, the defensive lapses didn’t really cost the Jays anything since two runs is about right on four hits in five batters.
Both teams put on in the 5th but failed to score, but the Jays had the better opportunity as theirs were both to start the inning rather than with two out for the Orioles. Retaking the lead waited until the 6th when Travis Shaw barreled up a single ahead of Grichuk going yard.
Ryan Borucki worked a perfect 6th in 12 pitches, and so for once was allowed back out for a second inning. He got the first out before walking Anthony Santander and Thomas Hatch came in. He was also great, retiring five straight to get the Jays through the 8th.
The Jays did finally buy themselves some breathing room, plating runs in the 8th and 9th on a Drury sac fly and then Lourdes Gurriel driving in Cavan Biggio who had a leadoff double. Rafael Dolis notched his first MLB save in seven years in striking out the side, albeit not without a little too much excitment as the tying run came to the plate.
Jays of the Day: Grichuk (+0.309 WPA), Hatch (+0.218), Drury (+0.091), Borucki (+0.089)
Suckage: Teoscar (-0.115), McGuire (-0.110), Alford (-0.105)
Tomorrow, the Jays return to Buffalo to host a doubleheader against Philadelphia before turning right back around and jetting off to Tampa Bay. Two seven inning games started at 1:05 EDT, neither on the main Sportsnet channel because why would you want to feature your baseball team on TV when you can fork out billions for something else? The Jays will send out Chase Anderson and Trent Thornton while the Phillies counter with identical twins TBD and TBD. Maybe we will see Julian Merryweather.