After destroying the Red Sox 13-1 yesterday, the Blue Jays made their long-awaited return to the Rogers Center for the first time since an 8-3 victory over the Rays waaayyy back on September 29, 2019 to end the 2019 season. Today was also the trade deadline. The Blue Jays made a big splash, acquiring Twins ace Jose Berros for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Berros was 7-5 with a 3.48ERA in 20 starts this season for the Twins. Woods-Richardson was having a rough go in AA-ball with a 2-4 record and a 5.76ERA in 11 starts this season. Martin was quickly rising in the minor league ranks. He was batting .280 in AA-ball with 2 HR and 16RBI in 196AB. Had he remained a Blue Jay, he would have stood a decent chance of making the team at the hot corner. He has versatility with the ability to play CF and SS as well as 3B. Martin is the one the Blue Jays will miss the most. To make room for Berros, Tyler Chatwood was DFA'd, ending a disappointing time with the Blue Jays. Chatwood was 1-2 with a 5.76 ERA in 30 appearances this season. He was responaible for several of the blown leads. The Blue Jays also acquired righty Joakim Soria from the Diamondbacks for two players to be named later. Soria was 1-4 with a 4.30 ERA in 31 appearances this season. He has 6 saves.
OK, onto today's game. The Blue Jays opened an 11 game in 10 day homestand (which includes a double header August 7 against the Red Sox as a make-up for the rained out game July 20 in Buffalo) against the Royals. The Royals won 3 of the 4 games in KC and have outscored the Blue Jays 13-12. Kirby Snead was optioned to AAA and Jonathan Davis was DFA'd. Brad Hand was activated. Ross Stripling got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. George Springer was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was back in the lineup as DH after missing a game after getting hit by a pitch two days ago with Teoscar Hernandez in LF and Randal Grichuk in RF. Santiago Espinal was at the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row and win their first home game in Toronto in 670 days? Here is tonight's game recap.
- The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Teoscar Hernandez hammered a solo bomb off the basing of the 3rd deck in left
- Five batters later, George Springer doubled scoring Randal Grichuk
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled home Bo Bichette
- The Royals got one back in the top of the 5th as Nicky Lopez tripled scoring Jarrod Dyson
- The Royals got one back in the top of the 6th as Salvador Perez whacked a solo blast to left-center
- Lance Lynn pitching line: 6IP 7H 3R (all earmed) 2BB 2K 107 pitches (63 for strikes)
- Ross Stripling pitching line: 5.1IP 4H 2R (both earned) 1BB 1K 76 pitches (47 for strikes)
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th on a double play ball hit by Marcus Semien that scored Breyvic Valera
- A batter later, Bichette cranked an opposite-field shot to right-center; also scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- The Royals got one back in the top of the 8th on an infield single by Whit Merrifield that plated Lopez. The run was unearned thanks to a throwing error by Bichette. It was Bichette's 20th error of the season
- The Royals got one back in the top of the 9th on a groundout by Michael A. Taylor that scored Hunter Dozier
- Jordan Romano pitched the 9th for his 9th save of the season
- Final score: Blue Jays 6 Royals 4
- Ross Stripling had a solid start, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1. He retired 8 in a row. With the addition of Jose Berros to the rotation, one of Stripling or Steven Matz will become the long man in the bullpen, unless the Blue Jays opt to go with a 6-man rotation
- The bullpen bent but held the lead in the first game back in Toronto. In his Blue Jays debut, Brad Hand allowed an unearned run on a pair of hits in his inning of work. Tim Mayza was excellent, retiring all five batters he faced while striking out 2. Jordan Romano conceded a run on a brilliant defensive play where Romano leaped to snag a comebacker and juat beat a hard-running Taylor to the bag.
- OK, Bo Bichette seriously needs to work on his defense. His throwing error led to an unearned run. He has 20 errors this season. It would be a shame if he cost the team some wins because of poor defensive play, especially after Shapiro added so many pieces, in particular completely revamping a bullpen that has blown too many games that should have been wins
- Offensively, the Blue Jays built a three-run lead after 3 innings, then added 3 key runs in the bottom of the 7th that turned out to be the difference in the game. Bo Bichette scored one of the runs on pure hard work on the bases. He stole second bases then later hustled to beat the throw home. Springer made the most of his first game in Toronto as a Blue Jay, going 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Hernandez absolutely drilled a ball off the basing of the 3rd deck to open the scoring
- Every Blue Jays starter except Marcus Semien and Randal Grichuk (drew a walk) had at least one hit
- The Blue Jays were 3-6 with runners in scoring position
- Up next, the Blue Jays try to make it three wins in a row. Alek Manoah makes his return to the rotation after missing a start after falling down some stairs in Buffalo. The Royals will counter with lefty Mike Minor