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Jays Win 3-1, Take Series from Brewers

Toronto Blue Jays play the Milwaukee Brewers Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

It was School Day at the Rogers Centre, so there was an unusually robust crowd of 42,059 in attendance for a June Thursday getaway game. The kids got their money’s worth (though how elementary school students are supposed to afford $16 beers I don’t know), with the Jays emerging victorious behind some stellar defence, a great pitching performance, and some long awaited dingers.

Kevin Gausman was on fire today. In 6.2 innings of shutout ball, he allowed 5 hits and two walks, while striking out 11. Only three Brewers even made it into scoring position against him all afternoon: Joey Wiemer on a double (the only extra base hit Gausman permitted) in the third, Wiemer again with a stolen base after a walk in the fifth, and Owen Miller with a stolen base in the sixth. Other than that, they were never able to threaten him. Gausman’s fastball even touched 99 a couple of times in the fifth inning, which isn’t something you see very day from a starter.

In support of their pitcher, the Jays’ defence played an excellent game. The highlight was a Kevin Kiermaier diving grab in the top of the second that might be the defensive play of the season:

Kiermaier would chip in another red star catch in the fifth, and fill-in catcher Tyler Heineman gunned Christian Yelich down stealing second in the first inning, the first time Yelich has been caught in 14 attempts this season.

Erik Swanson worked an easy 1.1 in relief without allowing a hit. The Brewers only got on the board in the ninth. Rowdy Tellez lofted a Jordan Romano slider into the right field gap. This time Kiermaier didn’t quite get there in time and the ball ticked off his glove, allowing Rowdy to take his third career triple (I would have guessed fewer, TBH). Romano walked William Contreras, but allowed Tellez to come in to score on a Brian Anderson double play ball.

Meanwhile, the offence got off to a hot start. Bo Bichette launched his 12th home run of the season in the first, and after a Daulton Varsho single Matt Chapman chipped in with his eighth of the year to put Toronto up 3-0.

After that, I guess they decided 3 runs was good enough and took the rest of the day off. Over the next seven innings, the Jays managed just two more hits (including a Heineman double) and two more walks. It was plenty, as it turned out, but with anyone but Gausman on the mound there might have been trouble.

Jays of the Day: Gausman (0.301), Chapman (0.155)

Held Back a Grade: Everybody passes! Kiermaier had the lowest number (-0.042), but his glove work more than made up for the 0-4 today.

The team travels to New York tonight to begin a series with the Mets. Chris Bassitt (5-4, 3.80) makes his triumphant return to Citi Field tomorrow, facing a possibly showing his age but still very dangerous Justin Verlander (2-2, 4.80). Things kick off at 7:10pm ET.