As Lou Brown once said, I’ve got a feeling things are about to turn around for us.
W: F. Liriano 5-4
L: L. McCullers Jr. 7-2
S: R. Osuna 2-0
W, 5-4 | 6.0 IP | 3 (3) | 9 H | 1 BB | 4 K |
107 PC, B: 38, S: 69 | 5.56 ERA
It’s hard to know what kind of outing you should expect from Francisco Liriano. Luckily for the Jays, he looked good tonight. Liriano’s final line reads 6.0+ IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 4 K, 1 BB. As always, the key was his walk rate. He only allowed one free pass tonight. That always goes a long way. The Astros did manage to score early, as Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo shot in the 2nd. Liriano settled down after that, as he only allowed a couple of singles in the middle innings. The next run came in the 5th, as the Astros strung together a couple of bloop singles, which led to a run. Apart from that, Liriano was fine. He threw his 106th pitch to start off the 7th, and Alex Bregman hit it hard for a ground rule double. That was the end of Liriano’s night. I didn’t love the decision to send him back out at that point, but the bullpen was able to work out of the problem.
The Blue Jays threatened early, but it took them some time before they finally broke through. They were able to load the bases in the 1st, thanks to a couple of walks and a single from Justin Smoak. Nothing came of it, though, as both Kendrys Morales and Troy Tulowitzki struck out. It felt like it was going to be one of those nights.
The Jays finally got on the board in the 4th. With one out, Morales reached base on an error, and then advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch. A couple of batters later, Steve Pearce drove him home. Things really got going in the 5th. Jose Bautista and Russell Martin led off with a pair of singles, and they advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a passed ball. Josh Donaldson followed with his first big hit in some time, as he hit a two-run single. Later in the inning, Morales hit an RBI double, Tulowitzki hit an RBI single, and Ryan Goins just missed a grand slam, and settled for an RBI double. All told, they scored five runs in the inning without a home run.
The long ball finally made an appearance in the 6th. Martin continued his strong night with a solo shot to lead off the inning. It was nice to see a more balanced approach tonight – and even better that we didn’t have to pray for anyone to bunt.
|R. Tepera (4-1)||1.1||1||1||2||0||2||22 (7-15)||3.45|
|D. Leone (1-0)||0.1||0||0||0||1||0||9 (6-3)||2.95|
|J. Beliveau (1-0)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||2 (0-2)||3.97|
|R. Osuna (S, 2-0)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||9 (3-6)||2.06|
Ryan Tepera entered the game in the 7th, with one out and a runner on 2nd. He struck out Jake Marisnick and George Springer to start things off. Jose Altuve put a damper on the inning, as he muscled a broken bat RBI single. Altuve followed that by stealing 2nd. That didn’t matter much, as Carlos Correa grounded out to end the inning.
Tepera was back on the mound to start the 8th. It wasn’t as smooth as the 7th. Carlos Beltran hit a leadoff home run. Nori Aoki followed by grounding out, and things were looking alright. Tepera’s night came to an end after that though, as he hit Brian McCann with a pitch. In came Dominic Leone to clean up. Yuli Gurriel hit into a fielders’ choice, Alex Bregman walked, and Josh Reddick came to the plate representing the tying run. Suffice it to say, the 8th inning wasn’t going according to plan. In came Jeff Beliveau to clean up Leone’s messy clean up of Tepera’s mess. Reddick flied out, the inning ended, and the Jays still had a three run lead.
Roberto Osuna came in for the 9th. This was his third consecutive game, which was the first time that he has pitched three days in a row during the regular season since last July. Springer lined out to deep centre field, before Altuve and Correa grounded out. That makes 21 consecutive saves for Osuna, who is undoubtedly one of the best relievers in the game.
The Jays have won three in a row. They beat the best team in the AL tonight. Aaron Sanchez returns tomorrow. All good things.