The Jays pitching was as excellent in the second game as it was in the first, although this time it was a group effort.
Steven Matz got the start, looking to continue building up as he returns from COVID-19. Isiah Kiner-Falefa led the game off with a double down the line. Matz was able to respond by getting a soft lineout from Eli White, striking out Adolis Garcia, and getting Gallo to roll over on a sinker.
The second was smoother, with an Andy Ibanez fly out sandwiched between ground outs from Jonah Heim and Brock Holt.
Matz allowed a single to Nick Solak in the third, but induced a grounder against the shift from Jason Martin that Cavan Biggio turned into an unconventional 5-6-3 double play and then fielded a Kiner-Falefa grounder himself to end it.
By the fourth inning, Matz was benefiting from a “we’ve got flights to catch” strike zone, striking out Gallo with the help of a couple generous calls and getting two easy ground outs.
Heim lined a single to open up the fifth, but again Matz induced soft contact outs from the next three batters. That would be the end of Matz’s day. He only threw 68 pitches through the five innings, but I guess he must not be all the way ramped up after his COVID IL stint. His final line was 0 runs on 3 hits, no walks and two strikeouts in 5.0 innings. He wasn’t overpowering, inducing only 4 whiffs, but he was also impossible for the Rangers to square up, allowing just one ball hit over 95mph.
Rafael Dolis came in to pitch the sixth, and Bichette, Guerrero and Springer were also lifted in favor of Breyvic Valera, Santiago Espinal, and Jonathan Davis, respectively. Dolis somehow walked .176 career hitter Martin, but managed to strike out Kiner-Falefa. White grounded into what should have been a double play, but Valera dropped the ball on the transfer trying to make the turn at second. Garcia then flied out to Davis to end the inning.
Tyler Saucedo was tapped to finish it off. He looked good, striking out Gallo on a well located slider below the zone and getting a ground out and a fly out to end it.
The Jays were onto Mike Foltynewicz from the jump in this one, and the baseball gods decided not to offer the Texas righty any help. Marcus Semien started it off with a first pitch line drive single. Bo Bichette and Vlad Guerrero jr. grounded into a fielder’s choice and flied out, respectively. The inning could easily have ended there, as Springer lobbed a soft fly to centre field that StatCast figures had about an 89% chance of being caught. It dropped just in front of a diving White, though, setting up a first and third with two outs. Teoscar Hernandez put the Jays on the board with a double off the right field wall, plating Bichette and sending Springer to 3rd. Grichuk hit a soft bouncer to short and legged out an RBI single, assisted by the lip of the infield grass tripping up third baseman Brock Holt and delaying the throw. The Blue Jays’ luck continued during Cavan Biggio’s at bat, with a brutally blown call on an 0-2 pitch setting up a walk to load the bases for Lourdes Gurriel jr. Naturally, Lou launched one off a light pole beyond the left-centre wall. Reese McGuire grounded out to second to end Foltynewicz’s misery.
Vlad was the last Blue Jay who was in the lineup for both halves of the double header to reach base, but he made his mark in the second by hitting his 31st home run of the year. Springer followed with a shot of his own to make it 8-0, and after a Teoscar Hernandez walk Randal Grichuk joined the party with his 18th. It had to feel good for Randal, who’d missed two homers by a combined 8 feet or so in the first game. That was it for Foltynewicz. Taylor Hearn came in to strike out Biggio and end the inning.
Hearn stayed in the game and worked a 1-2-3 third inning.
Demarcus Evans pitched the fourth and fifth for the Rangers. In the fourth, he retired the side in order, striking Bichette and Springer out while Guerrero flied out to right. In the fifth, Hernandez managed a walk but the next three batters flied out.
Spencer Patton drew final mop-up duty for the Rangers and acquitted himself well, striking out the side.
Jays of The Day: Gurriel (0.175) and Hernandez (0.117) had the number. Matz fell short (0.082), but he pitched 5 shutout and I’m not going to penalize a starter who was working on a shutout because the game as effectively over by the second inning.
Suckage: No one
There were 153 comments in the game thread. EMK19 led the charge in both halves of the double header.
Ross Stripling will be on the bump tomorrow night as the Jays host Nick Pivetta and the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 ET.