That wasn’t much fun. For the second time in a row, Jose Berríos didn’t have it. The offence, which has actually been OK during the recent slide, also didn’t look great, failing to score after the first inning. It was a grim afternoon all around.
The Jays have now lost three series in a row, and head back to Toronto for a seven day, eight game homestand against the Red Sox and Rays that feels like likely to be a turning point in the season, one way or another.
George Springer, back after a few days off with a wrist injury, started things off with a line single to left. Bo Bichette was rung up on a questionable strike three, but Vladimir Guerrero jr worked a walk to set the table for Alejandro Kirk, who promptly cleared it with a high drive over the wall in dead centre, giving the Jays a 3-0 lead. From there, Teoscar Hernández grounded out, Santiago Espinal reached on a ground ball single, and Chapman hit a fly to centre that didn’t quite have the distance and landed in Jonathan Davis’ glove for the third out. Jose Berríos struggled a bit early, issuing a leadoff walk to Christian Yelich and, after popping Wily Adames up in foul territory, left a fastball out over the heart of the plate that Rowdy Tellez took way out to centre to make it 3-2. He got Andrew McCutchen to ground out, then gave up a hard ground ball single to Luis Urías. Omar Narváez lined a double to centre that scored Urias from first and tie the game, but he inexplicably tried to take third on the play and got thrown out by 20 feet to end the inning.
Leading off the second, Lourdes Gurriel jr. popped up to short. Cavan Biggio worked a walk, but Springer hit into a double play. Berríos’ struggles got worse in the bottom half of the inning. Tyrone Taylor hit a soft liner to left centre and legged it into a double, then Jace Peterson laid down a perfect bunt for a single to bring Taylor to third. Jonathan Davis drove him home with a ground ball single into the hole that Espinal was able to get to but not in time to make a throw anywhere. The Jays finally got an out on a Yelich grounder to first, but conceded another run on the play, Adames singled on the next pitch to bring Davis home, and then a second home run by Tellez made it 8-3. Mercifully, McCutchen and Urías ground outs ended it there, but for the second day in a row the Blue Jays found themselves in a five run hole early.
The offence wasn’t able to respond in the third. Bo and Vlad struck out on pitches that neither was happy about (although they looked borderline on TV) and Kirk grounded out. Berríos briefly appeared to find his footing at this point, getting a Narváez groundout and striking out Taylor for his only K of the afternoon, but he hit Peterson and walked Davis, forcing Montoyo to pull him for Matt Gage. Gage walked Yelich, but got Adames to pop out to end the inning without a run scoring.
The Jays offense remained dormant in the fourth. Espinal did line a single to right, after Hernández grounded out to lead off, but Chapman popped up and Gurriel hit a one hopper to third, where Peterson was able to field it and get Espinal at second. Santiago appeared to go over on his ankle making an awakward slide, but was able to stay in the game after a brief visit from the trainers. Gage remained in the game and looked strong, striking out Tellez and getting a pop up and a ground out from McCutchen and Urías, respectively.
The Brewers went to their bullpen in the fifth, bringing in Jandel Gustave. He handled the Jays easily, getting soft flies from Biggio and Springer and a ground out from Bichette. The Jays turned to David Phelps to handle the bottom of the inning. He have up a leadoff fly ball single to Narváez, but then sandwiched a Peterson ground out between strikeouts of Taylor and Davis to keep the Brewers from adding on.
Gustave stayed in to start the sixth for Milwaukee. Guerrero absolutely ripped a low liner at 113mph back past the mound for a leadoff single. Kirk followed with a line single of his own. Hernández hit the third hard low liner in a row, but right at Peterson for the first out. Espinal then grounded into a double play to end what had looked like a pretty promising little rally. Tim Mayza took over for Phelps in the home half of the inning. Yelich reached on a swinging bunt to lead off, and Adames lined a double to right to put runners on second and third with none out. Mayza got squeezed on a 3-2 pitch to walk Tellez and load the bases. McCutchen grounded sharply to Chapman, who couldn’t quite handle it and wasn’t able to get an out, allowing one to score. Urías hit a deep sac fly to make it 10-3 before Narváez hit into a double play and stop the bleeding.
Trevor Gott took the reins in the seventh. Chapman appeared to have walked when the first base umpire ruled on appeal that he hadn’t swung at a 3-2 pitch, but Ted Barrett behind the plate changed his mind and decided it had been a foul tip for the strikeout. On replay, it didn’t look like the ball was ever that close to his bat. The Jays didn’t play well today, but the also didn’t have any kind of luck. Gurriel grounded out to short and Biggio struck out to take it to the seventh inning stretch. Jeremy Beasley came in for Toronto in mop up duty. He got a fly out form Taylor, struck out Peterson swinging, and a ground out from Davis ended the inning.
Facing Brent Suter in the eighth, the Jays looked ready to head for the airport. Guerrero did work his second walk of the afternoon, but Springer flew out and Bichette and Kirk grounded out. Beasley went back out to try to wrap it up in bottom half of the inning. Yelich lined out to open the inning, Adames hit a ground ball single up the middle, Tellez laced one right at Springer for the second out, and McCutchen flew out to left for the third.
Trevor Kelley faced little resistance wrapping things up for Milwaukee. Hernández struck out and Espinal and Zimmer (pinch hitting for Chapman) flew out to end the game.
Jay of the Day: Kirk (0.240)
Suckage: Berrios (-0.583, one of the worst individual WPAs I’ve ever seen)
The Jays head home for a series against the Red Sox starting tomorrow night at 7:07 ET. Kevin Gausman will be on the bump for Toronto, facing minor league call-up Connor Seabold for Boston.