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Good Start By Kikuchi, Jays Beat Marlins

MLB: JUN 20 Blue Jays at Marlins Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jays 2 Marlins 0

That was a fun game. We haven’t had enough of those lately.

Eury Perez is an excellent pitcher. He went 6 innings and allowed 3 hits (two by Matt Chapman) with no walks and 9 strikeouts.

We had a good chance to score in the fifth. Matt Chapman hit a one-out double and went to third on an error. But Danny Jansen struck out, and Spencer Horwitz ground out.

Yusei Kikuchi was equally excellent tonight. 6 innings, just 2 hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts. His only moment of trouble was in the sixth when Nick Fortes singled and went to second on a Garrett Hampson sac bunt. A flyout brought up .400 hitter Luis Arraez. Many of us wanted an intentional walk (I’m not a fan of IWs, but I would have thought about it), but Yunsei got Arraez to ground out to end the inning.

We finally scored in the 8th. Tanner Scott, a lefty reliever, came in. With one out, John had Santiago Espinal and his .208 BA pinch hit for Horwitz. It worked. He doubled. Then John pinch-hit Ernie Clement for Kevin Kiermaier. Earlier today, I wondered if John remembered that Clement was on the roster. I would have never guessed he’d use him to pinch-hit for Kiermaier. It worked again. Clement singled home, Espinal. George Springer followed with another single, and it was 2-0. For those playing at home, that’s two hits with RISP.

Springer stole second, but Whit Merrifield and Bo Bichette couldn’t bring him home.

The pen:

  • Yimi Garcia pitched a scoreless seventh.
  • Erik Swanson had some troubles. He got a strikeout, but Nick Fortes doubled. And Joey Wendle singled (Bo made a great play keeping it on the infield, I worried when he made a rushed throw to first. It was on target but late. An amazing try).
  • Tim Mayza came in and got a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning, Great job by Chapman, Clement and a great stretch by Vlad, keeping a foot on the bag and going for an off-line throw.
  • Jordan Romano got his 21st save. Varsho made an amazing catch at the wall in dead center to help Jordan along. And he made a second terrific catch for the last out. Thank you Daulton. Jordan, you should give Daulton the save.

We had 7 hits in all. Chapman had two, including one of our three doubles and the only walk of the game (Guerrero and Espinal had the doubles).

Merrifield, Varsho, Jansen and Kiermaier had 0 fors. Varsho had four strikeouts. Merrifield and Jansen three.

There was some nice defense by the Jays tonight. Nice to see after a few days of iffy defense.

Jays of the Day: Kikuchi (.346 WPA), Mayza (.203), Clement (.232, I’m guessing his first JoD), and Espinal (.091). John Schneider also deserves one for the unconventional pinch-hit choices and for bringing Mayza in for that double play.

The Other Award: Jansen (.152), Swanson (-.120). Varsho (-.111) had the number too, but those catches on the nine saved the game, so no honour for him.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I needed that win.

Tomorrow’s game is a noon Eastern start. Kevin Gausman vs. Sandy Alcantara.