That was fun. The Jays haven’t really had a blow out win that never felt close yet this season (even their 9-3 win over the Tigers back on April 11th was a come-from-behind tight game until the 8th). Tonight, though, the White Sox were never really in contention. The pitching was crisp, the lineup was getting contributions from all over, and the defence was solid. Let’s do that more often.
Berrios came to play tonight. He started off striking out the side in the first, and got his fastball up to 97.4mph, the hardest he’s thrown as a Blue Jay. The White Sox managed to get a man on in the third, on a Jake Burger line single, and Berrios issues a walk to Andrew Vaughn in the fifth, but it wasn’t until the sixth that Chicago got a man into scoring position. Elvis Andrus dropped a pop fly in behind Bichette for a single, and a Romy Gonzales strikeout and a Luis Robert fly out later, Andrew Benintendi lined a single to right to move him to third. Berrios rallied to punch Eloy Jimenez out and prevented the run from scoring. He’d allow one more infield single in the seventh (and avoid a run with the help of a nice George Springer catch on an Andrew Vaughn liner that could have gotten over his head for a double), but struck out Yasmani Grandal and Burger to end the inning. Ultimately it was 7 shutout, with four hits and a walk against nine Ks. It was dominant from start to finish.
Meanwhile, the offence didn’t have much trouble with Mike Clevinger. After Springer singled and stole second before being stranded in the first, the scoring opened in the second with back to back walks to Matt Chapman and Brandon Belt that were brought home on a Danny Jansen home run into the home bullpen to stake Toronto to a 3-0 lead.
They threatened again in the third, with a leadoff Bichette sincle and a double lined into the left field gap by Vladimir Guerrero jr., but weren’t able to bring either runner home. In the fourth, though, they did manage to tack on some insurance. Whit Merrifield walked, Jansen lined a single, and Kevin Kiermaier tripled off the right field wall to cash them in. Springer brought Kiermaier home with a line single, making it 6-0.
Finally, in the sixth, facing Tanner Banks, Danny Jansen delivered the dagger with a 392 foot bomb into the left field stands. Jansen has three homers and a double in his past 9 plate appearances. Safe to say his early season slump is over.
In the eighth, Nate Pearson made his return to Toronto after 17 months away and looked strong. He hit Elvis Andrus, the first batter he faced, with a 2-2 fastball that just got away from him, but then got a ground out, fly out, and strikeout to shut the White Sox down. He got three swinging strikes and froze Benintendi on a nice curveball dotted on the corner down and away, while running his fastball up to 99.6mph. It was good to have him back, and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.
Anthony Bass finished things off with a 1-2-3 9th inning. Nice to see him have a strong outing, the bullpen could use him finding his form from last year.
Jays of the Day: Berrios (0.212), Jansen (0.258), Pearson for a triumphant return, Kiermaier for blowing a young fan’s mind by giving him his batting gloves, and Springer didn’t have the number but three hits, a stolen base, and a gold star catch gets you the nod.
Day old Loonie Dogs: Nobody
It’s a get-away day game tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 1:07pm ET. The Jays will try to remain undefeated when Yusei Kikuchi starts (yes, really), while Michael Kopech will try to land his first win of the year.