Jays Win Series Against Red Sox, Go 12-5 in last 15

Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Jim Rogash / Getty Images

It’s been quite a few weeks for the Toronto Blue Jays. To the cheer of the Blue Jays faithful, the offence has finally been found, which has helped the team go 12-5 in their past 15 games. This weekend was no different as they took on the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.

Things started off Friday night as the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was lights out. David Price would be the one to try and stand in his way, but would get knocked down early. Dickey would not give up a hit to the Red Sox, until the sixth inning. The Jays would help offensively scoring 2 runs in the top of the first inning, thanks to Edwin Encarnacion. He would send one into the stands in center field scoring Josh Donaldson as well as himself. In the bottom of the inning, Mookie Betts would find himself on base after walking and would eventually score cutting the lead in half. Fast forward to the eighth inning, and the Jays would manage to add two more runs on the board, winning Friday’s contest 5-2.

On Saturday, Marcus Stroman would be sent to the bump as he would look to continue his team’s streak. However, he would soon discover he had been figured out by Boston’s offence, as the Red Sox would score in five consecutive innings. His competition across the field would be Steven Wright. Wright would find his defence putting in the work as a Jay would not see the plate until the top of the fourth inning. The Blue Jays would then score in three consecutive innings, but would still fall short by a pair, losing Saturday afternoon 6-4, managing only four hits through nine innings.

Sunday would be the rubber match. There was a lot of excitement surrounding Sunday’s game as it got started. Marco Estrada would be on the hill for the Jays as he would face off against the young gun, Eduardo Rodriguez. The Jays offence would be a major factor, but not because of singles, doubles, or even triples. Jose Bautista started off in the first inning, getting a hold of one and homering in left center field. Heading into the third, Darwin Barney and Encarnacion would both homer respectively, scoring an additional three runs, making it a 4-0 game. It would then be Russell Martin’s turn to fire one into center field, giving the Blue Jays a 5-0 run.

Defensively, Estrada had himself a game. The debatable ace of the team would find himself going into the bottom of the eighth, as he had a no-hitter intact right up until the bottom of the eighth inning before giving up a home run to Chris Young. Young’s home run would then light a fire on Boston’s bench. Leading 5-1 going into the ninth, and just three outs away from a win, Roberto Osuna would come in for the ninth. David Ortiz would hit a line drive, scoring Dustin Pedroia. Hanley Ramirez then doubled, scoring Rusney Castillo. Jackie Bradley Jr. then singled, scoring Ramirez, but that is all that would take place as the Jays would be able to hold on, and win the series 2/3.

The Blue Jays now head into Detroit to start a three games series at Comerica Park. J.A. Happ (6-2) will be sent to the mound as his opponent will be Michael Fulmer (5-1).

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Chicago Keeps Sox Clean, Sweep Jays

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 26: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 26, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris Sale

        (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

On Monday evening, the Toronto Blue Jays would welcome in the Chicago White Sox and three former Jays in Brett Lawrie, Dioner Navarro, as well as Melky Cabrera. On the bump, would be Marcus Stroman for the Blue Jays as Chicago would send Miguel Gonzalez.

Things would get started early, as both the White Sox and Blue Jays would score runs respectively, landing the Toronto club on top, 2-1. In the third inning, after getting two runners on base, Michael Saunders would homer on an 0-1 count to center field. Stroman would pitch through 6.2 innings of before being pulled in the seventh, leaving the bases loaded in relief for Brett Cecil. Coming out of the bullpen, Cecil would be unable to contain the White Sox, letting five runs cross the plate, with three runs being charged to Stroman. Chicago would add one more in the top of the ninth, securing their game one victory.

Wednesday night, the Toronto club would be looking to rebound from Tuesday night, as knuckleballer R.A. Dickey would be sent out to search for his second victory of the season. He would be put up against Chris Sale. Things would stay quiet until the fifth inning, minus the one run scored in the top of the third on behalf of Avisail Garcia as he homered into center field, giving his team an early 1-0 lead. Chicago would get three runners home safely in the fifth and seventh inning. Former Blue Jays catcher Navarro would homer giving his club a seven run lead. The Jays would only manage to get one run in over four hits in the game, while the Sox would add three more runs in the top of the ninth, securing their second victory in a row, with the chance of sweeping the Blue Jays for the first time since 2001.

Marco Estrada would look to look for his second victory of the season with hopes of helping to prevent a sweep at the Rogers Centre. Jose Quintana would be the counterpart in the attempt to sweep the Jays. It would be a very quiet game through the first six innings. It would turn worse for Estrada in the seventh. As he would ultimately reach 118 pitches through 6.2 innings, Marco would let three runs score before Ryan Tepera would come in during the eighth and let a fourth run cross the plate. Quintana would pitch just six innings, but give up no runs over four hits, striking out ten. The Jays would find themselves swept at home for the first time since September of 2001.

After a day off, Toronto will fly to Tampa for a mini three game series this weekend. Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ, and Marcus Stroman will be the three starters to go in Tropicana as the Rays will send Drew Smyly, Chris Archer, and Jake Odorizzi as the respective counterparts.

Blue Jays Split in Beantown

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                    Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox

The Toronto Blue Jays headed to Boston Friday night to start a four game series against a division rival, the Red Sox. On Jackie Robinson Day, the blue birds fell short, losing 5-3 handing R.A. Dickey his second loss of the year.

Boston took an early three run lead in the bottom of the first inning, which would find them ahead of the rest of the game. Toronto would manage to respond with a run in the second, and get two runs in during the seventh inning, but unable to produce any further. Rick Porcello would be credited with the win, keeping his undefeated streak alive, at two games. He would only let in 3 runs, over 6.1 innings of work, striking out 8. On the Jays side, R.A. Dickey would let in 4 runs through just 4.2 innings, striking out just 3. Craig Kimbrel would come in during the ninth for the save, to give the Sox a 1-0 series lead.

The fans heading to Fenway Saturday definitely got their money worth, as they would see a pitching duel between former Blue Jay David Price and Marco Estrada. Jays would get a run in early, however Boston would soon respond in the fourth, scoring four of their own. The blue birds would score another in the fourth as Edwin Encarnacion would hit a double, scoring Bautista who singled just prior. That’s all they would manage, as the Jays would fall once again, this time by a score of 4-2. David price would get the win as he went 7 innings, giving up only 2 runs over 6 hits with 9 strikeouts. Estrada on the other hand had a decent outing, but giving up 4 runs over 6 innings, striking out only 3, which would be the downfall. Kimbrel would appear once again, earning his fourth save of the year.

Game three would be a match-up between the young gun Aaron Sanchez and the knuckleballer, Steven Wright. The Blue Jays would be looking to get a much-needed win, as they would look not to lose the series. Toronto would pull off a similar situation as Saturday night, getting two runs in during the first inning.This time, it would be the Jays that would have the upper hand, as Boston would fall victim, only getting three runs on, two of which came during the ninth inning. Sanchez was lights out, giving up only 1 run, over 7 innings, striking out 7. Steven Wright would receive the loss as he went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs, striking out 6. During the game, Chris Colabello would find himself shaken up as Wright threw an 87MPH fastball, sending Colabello to the ground for a minute. Wright would perform a class act on Monday, sending a bottle of liquor to Colabello’s locker room as a token of apology, as he truly did not mean to have such a close encounter. Colabello would talk about the incident stating, “He went above and beyond in my eyes. It was pretty obvious there was no intent. You could see by his reaction.” Bravo Steven, well done.

Monday, the Toronto Blue Jays would be looking to even up the series at two games apiece. With an early morning game, taking place at 11AM, the blue birds didn’t have much time to rest, but they would send J.A. Happ to the mound in the series finale as he would be competing against Koji Uehara. The Bo Sox would get a man in early, as Josh Rutledge would double in Hanley Ramirez, making it a 1-0 game. There would be no other action until the Jays opened the floodgates in the top of the eighth, scoring 4 runs. The Toronto boys would appear to have this game won, however Boston would not be done responding with 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth, but would not be able to get anything further, falling 4-3. The Jays would end up splitting the series 2-2.

The Blue Jays will now head to face off against another division rival, the Baltimore Orioles who have been on a hot streak. The 7-7 Jays will start a three game series against the 8-3 Orioles, sending their young gun Marcus Stroman who is looking to go 3-0. The O’s will respond by sending Mike Wright to the bump. Wright has only pitched five innings this year, and the Toronto club will be looking to take advantage of that. Game time is 7:05EST.

Jays Avoid Sweep, Lose Bandwagon Fans In Process

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                The Canadian Press/Fred Thornhill

There was a lot of anticipation for the Jays as they headed into their first home series of the 2016 campaign. Friday night, the Toronto Blue Jays would be heartbroken, as the club would fall short. Donaldson and Holt would both hit grandslams, which the Jays would land on the wrong side of the excitement, losing 8-7. Stroman proved his haters wrong once again, however the bullpen would not be able to contain the Sox, leading to the loss.

Saturday being a new day, R.A. Dickey would be sent to the bump in what was suppose to be our first matchup of knuckleballers in a very long time, yet mother nature would have other ideas. With the weather affecting the previous match-up between Boston and the Cleveland Indians, Boston would send Rick Porcello as his counterpart. The game would go back and forth until the third. From there, B-town would score four straight innings in a row. By the end of the yo-yo game between the two clubs, the blue birds would fall short for the second day in a row, losing 8-4.

Heading into Sunday, the Rogers Centre started to become less full, but not by much. Those late season bandwagon fans from last season playoff run, started to back-out early, even though Sunday would only be game seven of 2016. With the Jays wanting to pull out a much-needed win, Marco Estrada would throw some pitches for the first time this year. The knuckleballer Steven Wright would be up on the mound in hopes of helping his club sweep the series, but Toronto would have other plans, stirring in the pot.

Early in the game, the Jays would take advantage of some misplays and high tosses, scoring two in the first inning. From that point on, it was a quick game, as both sides tossed out every batter that was being sent to the plate. During the eighth inning, Donaldson would step up to the plate, and give his club an extra assurance run by homering one into the bullpen, making it a 3-0 game, which would be the final.

Fans were able to breath a sigh of relief, not being swept and being able to carry the momentum, as they will begin a three game series Tuesday night against the New York Yankees, after an off day Monday. Aaron Sanchez will be sent to the hill, as Masahiro Tanaka will start off for the Bronx bombers.

AL East Champs Go 2-2

Brian Blanco/Getty Images

                      Brian Blanco/Getty Images

It’s 2016 and baseball has returned for the defending AL East division champions. The Toronto Blue Jays started their season opening in St. Petersburg, as they would play guest to the Tampa Bay Rays. Toronto would take the first two games of the series, winning both contest’s 5-3. Stroman and R.A. Dickey would both be rewarded with the victory for their efforts. Things then became interesting during Tuesday night’s game three.

During the first three games, the Jays would strike out 36 times, leaving 12 batters on base, and would have game three end in a controversial setting. Heading into the ninth inning, Toronto would trail the Rays, 3-2. Having one out, and Bautista on first, Edwin would hit a grounder to Longoria who would initially throw a 5-4-3 play, but Logan Forsythe would throw the ball away, which would land Toronto two runs to take a 4-3 lead. Tampa would challenge the call on the field, and after further review, it showed the Bautista broke the new sliding rule when he put out his arm and touched the foot of Forsythe, which is in violation of said rule. The umpires would then call both Bautista and Encarnacion out on a double play, ending the game, resulting in a Tampa Bay Rays victory, giving them their first of the season.

Heading into the fourth and final game of the opening series, the Jays would look to rebound, as they would send former Jay, comeback J.A. Happ to the mound to face off against Matt Moore. Reigning MVP winner Josh Donaldson would get the bats going early, as he would homer a three run shot to give the Jays a lead. Tampa would respond to two runs of their own scoring in the fourth and sixth inning. Nearing the end of the game and looking for a rebound win, Gibbons would send Arnold Leon to the mound to pitch in the bottom of the eighth, with the idea of sending either Storen or Osuna to the mound in the ninth to finish it up. Things didn’t go as planned however, as Leon would give up a home run to Souza Jr., which would score three, giving the Rays a 5-3 lead which would be the difference.

The Canadian boys will now fly home and have an off day Thursday before opening up their first home series this weekend as they play host to David Price and the Boston Red Sox. Stroman will be sent to the mound Friday, followed by Dickey, as they will each be looking for their second wins of the season. Marco Estrada will be sent to the mound for the first time on Sunday, as he will face off against former Blue Jay rental, David Price.

Estrada Keeps Jays Playoff Hopes Alive

during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 21, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Jays would see themselves with their backs against the wall once again. The Toronto ball club would be looking to get into the Kansas City Royals team who have been so dominate this post-season and force a game six back at Kauffman Stadium. Marco Estrada would be sent to the hill in hopes of keeping the season alive; as it would be a rematch of game one, Edinson Volquez would be sent out for the Royals.

In the second inning, Chris Colabello would help get the ball rolling, as he would launch a shot into left center field to strike first, making it a 1-0 game. Marco Estrada would do his part defensively sitting down the first nine batters he faced. He would start the nine batters by sitting down Alcides Escobar who would not reach base in the first inning for the first time in five games. In the sixth, after Revere and Donaldson would reach base safely, Bautista would battle Volquez through ten pitches, but would ultimately walk loading them for Edwin Encarnacion. Volquez would continue the trend by walking Encarnacion making it a 2-0 game.

Volquez would get pulled as Kelvin Herrera came in as relief. Troy Tulowitzki would make Herrera pay. Tulowitzki would crank a double to center field scoring all three runners on base, now a 5-0 contest. Tulo would set franchise history with the double as he now leads the Jays in RBI’s during the ALCS with 7. Candy Maldonado (6, 1992) and Paul Molitor (5, 1993) follow behind.

In the last six games when the Jays have scored five or more runs, they have won all six of those match-ups. Heading into the eighth, Estrada would still be on the mound, which would help with Toronto’s already depleted bullpen. He would only give up 1 hit through the first six innings. However, Estrada would give up a home run to Salvador Perez in the top of the eighth, and then followed by a single. That would wind up being the end of Estrada’s night. When Gibbons came to take the ball, you could read his lips saying wow. He was truly amazed with his performance in this crucial match-up. “He’s a master at what he does” Gibbons said about Estrada. “The fans game me all the energy I needed. We’re not done” said Estrada on the fan support from the over 49,000 blue jays faithful. Estrada would end up going 7.2IP, giving up only three hits, while striking out five.

In the end, the Jays would go on to win 7-1 over the Royals, forcing a game six Friday night in Kansas City. Tonight would be the fourth elimination game the Jays have won and they hope to continue that trend. David Price will take the hill in what we will see as a game two rematch as Yordano Ventura will be sent to the rubber for the Royals.

Jays Fall To Royals, Face Elimination

during game four of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 20, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.

                     Harry How/Getty Images

Things got off to a rough start for the Toronto Blue Jays who were trying to tie up the series with the Kansas City Royals Tuesday afternoon at the Rogers Centre. The Jays would have the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey take the mound. Chris Young would be his counter part in today’s contest.

The game would start off with a leadoff bunt from Alcides Escobar. Escobar would be the first player to leadoff the first inning with a hit in four straight games of a series. Ben Zobrist would then step to the plate, and on a 0-1 count Zobrist would launch a shot to right field scoring both himself and Escobar making it a 2-0 game. That would open the floodgates for the Royals, as they would score two more runs before the half inning would conclude. After giving up a home run to former Jay Alex Rios, Gibbons would come to the mound and send Dickey to the bench. Dickey would only go 1.2IP giving up 4ER off 4 hits. It would be the shortest outing in post-season history. In his last eight starts, Dickey posted a 1.94 ERA striking out 35 batters with a WHIP of only 0.84. In today’s matchup, the numbers would be quite different, as he would leave with a 21.60 ERA striking out only one and holding a WHIP of 3.61.

Liam Hendricks would enter the game. In the bottom of the third, Donaldson would hit a ground-rule double, scoring Ryan Goins cutting the Royals lead to four. Jose Bautista would then ground out, but score Ben Revere, as they would only trail by three, winding right back up into the matchup. In the seventh, LaTroy Hawkins would come in, in hopes of ending the flood that was taking place. That would not be the case though as Hawkins night would be over at the start of it, as Hawkins would load the bases before being pulled in relief of Ryan Tepera. With the bases loaded, Tepera would see four additional runs score, now making this a 9-2 game.

Trying to save their bullpen for what could be the last game of the 2015 season for the Toronto ball club, Gibbons would go to position player Cliff Pennington in the ninth to pitch. On his first throw in his career, he would throw a 91 MPH fastball for a strike. By the end, two runs would score and the game would end, as the Royals would dominate a night of quiet bats, taking the game 14-2.

The Jays will have their backs up against the wall for the second time this post-season, facing elimination on home turf. They will send Marco Estrada to the mound in a game one rematch, as Edinson Volquez will be the starter for the Royals as he hopes to guide his team to a World Series appearance for the second year in a row. Estrada is hoping to be the speed bump on that journey as he will throw out the first pitch at 4:07EST,