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Jays Thump Guardians 8-3

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

That was a little more like it. The Jays racked up eight runs on eleven hits and sixteen total base runners. The pitching was also good, although the D was dicey at times.

There is some bad news. Erik Swanson left the game with “mid right back discomfort”, which is ominous. The Jays are lucky to have Chad Green and Jay Jackson waiting in the wings, though. Hopefully Swanson’s absence is brief and he isn’t much missed.

There was also a scare when Daulton Varsho slid awkwardly into second base, twisting his knee. He was able to stay in the game, but we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. That’s always the test.

Finally, I’m begging them to start playing Davis Schneider a little bit. He reached four times today, with a homer, a double, a single, and a walk. He has his issues. He swings and misses more than you’d like, he struggles with good velocity sometimes, and he’s not a great defender. He’s knocking the cover off the ball, though, he works walks, he’s just taking much better at bats than almost anyone else on the team.

Hyun Jin Ryu was better than his final line, although a couple of bad pitches were hit hard. In the first, Jose Ramirez jumped on an 88mph fastball left up in the zone for his 20th homer of the season. In the fifth, Tyler Freeman ambushed a first pitch curveball for his first career home run. Other than that, he was mostly strong. Cam Gallagher technically doubled in the third, but it was a soft grounder up the third base line that Matt Chapman should definitely have at least knocked down to hold him to one.

He got into trouble in the sixth, but it wasn’t his fault. Kole Cahoun reached on a line single, just the Guardians’ fourth hit off Ryu. The next two batters both reached on errors, one by Chapman and one by Santiago Espinal, which loaded the bases and knocked Ryu out of the game.

Yimi Garcia was brought in to try to escape the jam. He got off to a bad start, hitting Laurano to force in a run, but rebounded to K the next three Guardians and preserve the 5-3 lead. Ryu, in the end, went five plus innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits, striking out five. Not an awful line, but he probably should’ve been through six with just two runs total.

Erik Swanson was called on in the eighth. He got pinch hitter Bo Naylor to ground out and gave up a line drive single to Myles Straw, but pulled up with what looked like a back injury after throwing one pitch to Calhoun. It wasn’t clear what happened, but Schneider played it safe and pulled him for Tim Mayza. Mayza got Calhoun to ground into a double play to end the inning.

They Jays are now reporting that he left with “mid right back discomfort”. Hopefully it isn’t serious, but we probably won’t hear for a day or two.

Trevor Richards handled the eighth. He struck out Ramirez and Oscar Gonzalez, and got Laurano to fly out. He stayed in to wrap it up with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Last night the offence really struggled with Tanner Bibbee. Today they were able to jump all over the Guardians’ other hot rookie, Logan Allen. Whit Merrifield lead off with a double, and Bo Bichette brought him home with a line single. After a couple of fielder’s choice ground balls (including one on which second baseman Andres Gimenez made an amazing diving stop and no look shovel to second), Davis Schneider launched one into the Jays’ bullpen to put Toronto out front 3-1. It’s been a while since Schneider made the lineup, because I guess why see what you have in the guy with the 1.200 OPS, but today he made it clear why he should be playing.

Allen was able to lock it down in the second and third innings, but in the fourth Schneider lead off with a double, Danny Jansen advanced him to third with a line single and took second himself when the ball went home. A matt Chapman line single brought Schneider home, and an Espinal sac fly scored Jansen to extend the lead to 5-1.

Four ended up being the limit for Allen. In the bottom of the fifth, Cody Morris gave up a lead of double to Bichette and walked Schneider, but the Jays weren’t able to bring either home. Back out for the eighth, Morris lost the plate a bit. Daulton Varsho and Merrifield worked walked, but the Jays couldn’t capitalize. They did break through against him in the seventh. Vlad Guerrero jr. lead off with a line single to right, and George Springer doubled down the left field line to bring Guerrero to third. Francona called for James Karinchak to face Schneider, who lined a single to left for his third hit of the night (putting him a triple shy of the cycle) and brought Vlad home, making it 6-3. Karinchak then hit Danny Jansen in the hand. After Chapman popped out and Espinal struck out, Varsho lined a hard single to right to plate two more.

Varsho would try to steal second, but he hit the bag awkwardly and twisted his right knee. He rolled off the bag in obvious pain and was tagged out to end the inning. It was a scary moment, but luckily after a few hops to test it out Varsho decided the knee was OK and stayed in the game.

The Guardians brought in Eli Morgan to mop up in the eighth. He sat the top of the Jays’ lineup down in order.

Jays of the Day: Garcia (0.191), Schneider (0.258)

Suckage: Nobody (Ryu had the number but I refuse to award one because he deserved better)

Rubber match tomorrow. Noah Syndergaard (2-6, 6.43) will go for the Guardians, while Yusei Kikuchi (9-4, 3.52) will toe the rubber for the Jays. First pitch goes at 1:37pm ET.