W: C. Valdez 1-0
L: S. Gray 6-5
S: R. Osuna 2-0
W, 1-0 | 6.0 IP | 1 (1) | 5 H | 1 BB | 4 K |
77 PC, B: 26, S: 51 | 4.97 ERA
Making his first start as a Blue Jay, Cesar Valdez fared well in the first inning. Although he gave up a leadoff single to Joyce, thanks to some great infield defense, the baserunner was negated. Through the end of the 3rd inning, Valdez had faced the minimum amount of batters.
Matt Joyce led off the 4th with a double to right field. He was driven in on a Khris Davis double. Valdez faltered a little bit in the inning, but he kept the damage down. The Athletics scored their first run, but still trailed the Blue Jays 4-1. Valdez was getting the outs he needed efficiently. He had thrown 57 pitches through four full frames.
Valdez was taking an aggressive approach against his former team. In the 5th, he made quick work of the lineup. Highlighted by a three-pitch strikeout of Matt Chapman, Cesar looked strong on the mound.
After giving up a two-out single to Semien, Valdez committed a balk. It didn’t matter much though because he struck out Yonder Alonso to end the inning. After getting through six full innings, it was officially the deepest Valdez had pitched into a game. When he gave up a leadoff double to Khris Davis in the 7th, he was taken out of the game. He did a great job as a fill-in starter. It would come as no surprise if he was given another shot in the rotation.
The Toronto bats had a tough cookie to crack tonight in Sonny Gray. They struck out twice in the 1st inning. In the 2nd, Justin Smoak laced a single to right field to begin the inning. Gray committed an error on a Morales grounder, which put runners at the corners with no outs. A ground ball RBI by Tulowitzki put the Jays on the board, 1-0. Carrera followed with a single, then he promptly stole second base. Goins stepped to the plate and sliced a double down the third base line to score two more runs. Bautista kept the rally alive with a ground-rule double to right field, scoring Goins.
Gray settled in nicely in the middle innings. He started using his curveball more which proved to be effective. He racked up 9 strikeouts through 6.0 innings, and kept the Blue Jays off the bases.
Former teammate Liam Hendricks had to work hard in the 7th. After walking two batters, he left them stranded, but the Blue Jays made him throw 39 pitches in the inning. In the 8th, the team had two men on after Morales was hit by a pitch and Tulowitzki singled to right field. Both runs were stranded after a failed sacrifice bunt by Carrera and boneheaded base running by Tulowitzki. After Pillar hit a shallow fly ball that the right fielder caught, Tulo was doubled up after he had wandered off second base. The Blue Jays could have given Osuna the night off, but instead he entered the game in a save situation.
Thanks to a four-run second inning, the Blue Jays pulled off the win. However, that was the only inning they managed to score in. As we’ve seen them do before, the offense was pretty stagnant for the rest of the game. Luckily the pitching was excellent in the game which let the bats off the hook.
|J. Smith (3-0)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||12 (3-9)||3.48|
|R. Tepera (5-1)||1.0||0||0||0||1||0||15 (7-8)||3.33|
|R. Osuna (S, 2-0)||1.0||0||0||1||0||1||16 (4-12)||1.96|
Joe Smith was the first out of the bullpen tonight in the 7th. He recorded his first out thanks to a spectacular play in right field by Jose Bautista. Smith stranded Khris Davis on third base when he struck out Chapman to end the inning. Joe looked a little bit shaky at the start of the inning, but settled in to record his outs.
For the 8th, Ryan Tepera was on the mound as the setup man. After two quick ground ball outs, Tepera battled with Joyce and ended up walking him. Joyce had a good night at the plate, going 2-3. Tepera ended the inning with a ground ball from Semien.
Closer Roberto Osuna was pitching in the 9th in a three-run save situation. Alonso singled to lead-off the inning. The next batter, Khris Davis, struck out in three pitches – all of which were nasty breaking balls. Osuna recorded the next two outs, thanks to some great fielding from Donaldson at third base. That’s number 26 for Osuna on the season.
1-3 | 1 BB | 0 R | 1 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 2 K | 0 SB | AVG: .220, OBP: .332, Slug: .391
Robbed Jed Lowrie of a hit in the 7th inning. Saved a run after snagging the ball out of the air in the gap, preventing a double.
0-2 | 2 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 2 K | 0 SB | AVG: .237, OBP: .363, Slug: .420
Josh picked a ball off the third base line in the 9th inning, saving an extra base hit for Osuna. Ryon Healy was robbed by Donaldson, who got up and threw the ball to first base in time for the last out of the game. Awesome.