Newly mustachioed Hyun Jin Ryu looked excellent, tossing an 83 pitch shutout. He looked to have really benefited from the extra time off over the All Star break, touching 93mph with his fastball and showing renewed command of his change up.
George Springer put him in a bit of a jam in the second by miss-playing a Joey Gallo line drive from a single into a triple. Ryu responded by striking out catcher John Hicks on the best change-up he’s thrown in weeks, inducing a soft pop out from Eli White, and freezing David Dahl with a fastball on the corner.
Ryu opened the third with a strikeout of Nick Solak and a ground ball from Charlie Culberson that Bo and Vlad made a nice play on for the second out. Kiner-Falefa reached on a soft liner over Bichette’s head and Lowe worked a walk to create a bit of drama, but Ryu sat Adolis Garcia down on back to back to back change ups to end the threat.
The fourth inning was mostly uneventful, with Ryu retiring the side in order on a couple ground outs and a weak fly, although Vlad had to make a tough flying swipe tag on Hicks after jumping up the line to save Espinal a throwing error.
The fifth was more of the same. The Rangers’ 7-8-9 hitters went down on a total of 7 pitches.
Gurriel went on a bit of a safari tracking a Nate Lowe fly ball in the sixth, resulting in a double that probably should have been an out. Ryu worked around it easily, though, with a soft fly and a couple easy grounders.
David Dahl made a bid to break up the shutout with a towering fly in the seventh, but Springer caught it on the track to end the game.
Ryu’s final line was 0 Runs on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4 over 7 innings.
Kolby Allard, going for the Rangers, is the kind of junk throwing lefty command artist who frequently gives the Jays offence fits. Early on, it looked like one of those days, as Allard cruised through the first two innings on 16 pitches, inducing weak grounders and fly outs.
The Blue Jays managed to get to Allard in the third, though. Lourdes Gurriel jr. reached on a swinging bunt to lead off, then moved to third on a line drive double from Santiago Espinal. Danny Jansen grounded out too hard for him to score, but Marcus Semien chopped one to third to cash him in on the fielder’s choice. Bichette smashed a line drive up the middle to score Espinal from second, before Guerrero grounded out to end the inning.
Springer tried to get something going in the fourth, working a lead off walk then catching Allard sleeping to swipe second. Gurriel hit his second swinging bunt of the afternoon, rolling the ball right down the chalk line to reach and advance him to third, but Hernandez, Grichuk and Espinal all flied out before he could score.
Danny Jansen added a little insurance in the bottom of the fifth by launching a homer hard off the backup fencing in left field. At 111.2mph off the bat, it was the second hardest hit ball of his career. As one of the last surviving members of the “Jansen can be good, actually” brigade, it was nice to see.
The middle of the lineup really figured Allard out the third time through. Springer and Hernandez ripped line drive singles to left at 112 and 113mph, respectively, to start the inning off, and Hernandez also stole second. Grichuk missed a home run by about 4 feet for the second at bat in a row, but it was enough to score Springer and move Hernandez up to third. At this point, Josh Sborz was brought into the game to face Gurriel. He managed to induce a sharp groundout to second, but Solak had to leave his feet and Hernandez read it beautifully to score without a play at the plate. Allard’s final line was 5 earned runs on 7 hits and a walk with one strikeout in 5.1 IP. Espinal extended the inning with a soft line drive single to right field, but Jansen flied out to centre to end it.
Jays of The Day: Ryu (0.389) was the only one to reach the number, as he didn’t need much help from the bats. Espinal falls just short (0.094), but I’ll give him one anyway for setting up the winning run and getting two hits.
EMK19 lead us to victory this afternoon.
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We’ll be back in about 20 minutes, with Steven Matz taking on Mike Foltynewicz in part two of today’s double header.