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Baby Jays Recap - Bad night for bullpens but Kevin Smith homers to push Buffalo to win

American League Wild Card Game 1: Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays
Hatch will take the ball on Wednesday for Buffalo
Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

It was a tough night for Baby Jays bullpens, as three of the clubs ended up giving up runs in the 8th or 9th innings on their way to losses. All four starters had game scores of at least 60, so they did their part in giving the clubs a shot at winning. Overall, the Jays organization went 2-2 against Yankees clubs, which isn’t all bad.

Buffalo (12-7) - Win 5-2 over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Kevin Smith hit a go-ahead HR, his 5th of the year, in the 9th inning, and then saw Juan Graterol double in an insurance run on the way to a 3 run inning in a 5-2 win. Richard Urena homered, added a single and a walk. Graterol added a single for a two-hit night. Cullen Large had 3 hits on the night, including a double, but also was picked off and caught stealing. Forrest Wall, Christian Colon & Logan Warmoth each had a hit.

It was Alek Manoah’s turn to throw Tuesday night, but he had other plans, so Connor Overton started a bullpen day. Overton went 3 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 5. Taylor Saucedo pitched 2 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. Those were the first two runs Saucedo has allowed in 2021 in 12.1 innings. Casey Lawrence, Jackson McClelland, Jeremy Beasley and Bryan Baker each followed with a scoreless inning to nail down the win.

Everyone’s favourite meme, old friend Socrates Brito played RF and hit clean up for the RailRiders, and went 1-3 with a walk, and also threw out Juan Graterol at 3rd base.

New Hampshire (7-12) - Loss 2-1 to Somerset

New Hampshire got a strong effort from their pitchers on Tuesday night, led by Kyle Johnston. Johnston allowed only a hit and 3 walks over 5 shutout innings. Mike Ellenbest & Connor Law each had a shutout inning of relief. James Dykstra had a rough go in the 8th inning, mostly with 2 outs, as he allowed 3 singles and a walk, which led to 2 runs. In between the bad, Dykstra also struck out 3 batters. All told, the Fisher Cats pitchers allowed 4 hits and 4 walks for the day, but ended up on the losing end.

At the plate, New Hampshire picked up 7 hits, but also struck out 16 times. The bigger issue for NH was that 5 of the 7 hits came from 2 batters, and the rest of the lineup went 2-24 with a sac fly. Austin Martin had 3 singles in this one, his second 3-hit game in the last week. Everyday Otto Lopez also had 2 hits, extending his hit streak. LJ Talley & Vinny Capra each added a hit as well. Gabe Moreno drove in the only run, with a sac fly in the 9th inning.

Somerset starter Jansen Junk has been strong against NH to start the year, as this was his 2nd start against the club. Over 7.1 innings Junk has not allowed a run yet on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 13.

Vancouver (12-7) - Loss 5-3 to Everett

Vancouver saw a 3-2 lead going into the 9th inning evaporate as the bullpen gave up 3 runs. Sean Wymer started and allowed a single run on 3 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings. Wymer struck out 5 and got 8 ground outs in his best start of the year. Brandon Eisert followed with 2 innings of relief, allowing a run on 2 hits and 2 walks. Eisert struck out 5 as well. Parker Caracci had a rough 9th inning, as he came in with the lead and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits, a hit batter and 2 wild pitches.

At the plate, Vancouver did just enough to take a lead into the 9th, as they managed 5 hits and 7 walks, but put up an 0-7 with runners in scoring position. Tanner Kirwer had a single and 2 walks, scoring 2 of the 3 C’s runs. Kirwer also had 3 stolen bases in this one. Cameron Eden had a double, a walk and a sac fly, while picking up a stolen base. DJ Neal had a run scoring walk, and added a single. Tanner Morris & Luis De Los Santos each singled, while Ryan Gold added 2 walks.

Mariners top prospect Julio Rodriguez went 3-4 with a walk and 2 RBI’s for Everett, as he continues to look the part of a hitting machine.

Dunedin (6-13) - Loss 3-2 to Tampa

Dunedin got a strong start from Naswell Paulino, who pitched 5.1 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and a walk. Paulino had 2 strikeouts in this one. Thomas Ruwe blew a save as he allowed a run in his 0.2 innings, on 2 hits and a walk, as he continues to struggle in 2021. Gabriel Ponce also blew a save as he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, a walk and a hit batter over 2 innings. Wilgenis Alvarado made his 2021 debut with a scoreless 9th inning, giving up a hit, a walk and hitting a batter, while striking out 1.

The D-Jays were only able to muster 7 hits and 2 walks in this one. Undrafted Free Agent Zac Cook made his Blue Jays debut after signing after last year’s draft and he picked up 3 hits, including 2 singles and a double, in 4 at-bats, scoring 2 runs. Cook was also caught stealing. Leo Jimenez had a 2-hit game, adding a walk, though was also thrown out at the plate in the 6th. Zach Britton had a double and a sac fly as he drove in both Dunedin runs. Jhon Solarte had a single and Justin Ammons added a walk.

Today’s Probables

Buffalo is sending Thomas Hatch to the mound to start today. First pitch is 6:35

New Hampshire gets underway at 7:05 but the starter is TBD

Vancouver is also sending out a TBD in their game at 10:05

Dunedin is playing two today, starting Jol Concepcion in game 1 at 4:00 and then a TBD for game 2