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Kirk Homers Twice, Jays Beat Angels

Toronto Blue Jays play the Los Angeles Angels
After the pitch that hit Taylor Ward.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Angels 1 Blue Jays 6

Let’s just say, off the top, that I hope Taylor Ward is ok. That was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever watched during a baseball game. I’m taking it for granted that he has, at best, a broken nose, but likely more than that—a very painful RBI.

Alek Manoah was not sharp but pitched his way out of trouble several times. He gave up 4 hits, 3 walks and hit 2 batters. And yet he only allowed 1 earned run, scoring on the bases-loaded hit batter, in his 4.1 innings.

No swearing at the manager today. Alek hit Shonhei Otani in the first inning (thankfully not in the face). And, the was intentionally walked twice and hit a double.

Génesis Cabrera saved Manoah’s ERA by getting the last two outs of the fifth inning with the bases loaded. Cabrera went to a full count on Matt Thaiss before getting a pop-out to end the inning.

Jay Jackson started the sixth, giving up a lead-off double, then getting a strikeout and ground out. A walk would end his day.

Trevor Richards came in, and the Jays walked Ohtani to load the bases on his record (why not have it go against Jackson? Likely because Ohtani would count against Richards’ three batters, in case things went badly). Richards then got Mickey Moniak to strike out.

Richards threw a quick seventh, striking out the side.

Nate Pearson (an interesting choice by John, as he is just back from the minors after a few bad outings with the Jays) got the eighth. He had a very quick inning, popout, strikeout and flyout. Considering how hard our bullpen has worked, I would have considered putting him out for the ninth. But likely best to take him out feeling good.

Yimi Garcia got the ninth with a five-run lead (mainly because we don’t trust Mitch White with any lead). He gave up a leadoff single but got three quick outs (Ohtani struck out, and he was upset with the strike zone, which had been bad all day, but both pitches he was unhappy with seemed to just barely catch the zone).

Offensively? Well, our first two runs came off Santiago Espinal’s bat, hitting a two-run homer, following Alejandro Kirk’s lead-off single in the fifth.

Beyond that, we didn’t have much luck against Reid Datmers. We can’t seem to hit lefties. Well, can’t hit lefties not named Aaron Loup.

Kirk hit a solo homer in the seventh to make it 3-1 in the seventh (off old friend Aaron Loup). An out later, Kevin Kiermaier beat out an infield single and then scored on Whit Merrifield’s double.

That’s when things got strange. Bo Bichette swung at the second pitch thrown to him. The follow-through of his swing had him stepping across the plays. Catcher Matt Thaiss got up to pick off Merrifield but was blocked by Bo, who was ruled out on catcher interference. A very strange call by a plate umpire who seemed to have no idea where the strike zone was. I don’t know that I’ve seen that called that way before.

After that, the Angels intentionally walked Vladimir Guerrero and unintentionally walked Matt Chapman, but George Springer hit a fly ball to medium right field.

Alejandro Kirk homered for the second time today in the eighth inning, following a Danny Jansen single, making it 6-1. The first was a line drive that barely cleared the wall in the left—this one was crushed (105 mph, 407 feet).

We had 9 hits. Kirk had 3, Bo had 2. Vlad (with a walk), Chapman (two walks) and Springer

Jays of the Day: Espinal (.197 WPA), Richards (.175), Cabrera (.150) and Kirk (.125).

No one gets the “Other Award”. Springer had the low mark at -.084.

Tomorrow the Jays go for the sweep. It is an early start, noon Eastern. Jose Berrios 8-7, 3.40 vs. Tyler Anderson (5-2, 5.23).