After splitting the four game series against the Yankees, the Blue Jays returned home for a series against Matt Champan's former team - the Oakland A's. The Blue Jays find themsels in a 3-way tie with the Yankees and Rays for 1st in the AL East. Oakland is a half a game back of the Astros for 1st in the AL West. Last season, the Blue Jays won 5 of the 7 games in the season series against Oakland and outscored the A's 53-35. Tonight is Jackie Robinson day, commemorating the historic moment when Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first black player to play in the MLB. His #42 is retired by all 30 teams, but tonight every player in the majors will wear his number. Mariano Rivera, who retired after the 2013 season, was the last active player to wear #42. Xavier Hernandez (1989) and Paul Mirabella (1980-81) were the only Blue Jays to wear #42. Josh Palacios was claimed off waivers by the Nationals. Ross Stripling got the start with Zack Collins behind the plate. Cavan Biggio was at 1st base with Vlad getting the half day off as DH. George Springer was back in CF after DH'ing yesterday,. Matt Chapman was back at the hot corner after the complete day off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays start the weekend with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.
- The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hammered a solo bomb to right-center
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Santiago Espinal doubled scoring Raimel Tapia
- Ross Stripling pitching line: 4IP 2H 0R 0BB 3K 62 pitches (40 for strikes)
- Daulton Jeffries pitching line: 4.1IP 7H 2R (both earned) 1BB 2K 68 pitches (45 for strikes)
- The A's got one back in the top of the 6th as Chad Pinder singled scoring Tony Kemp
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom half of the inning as Zack Collins singled home Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Gurriel Jr. singled scoring George Springer
- Jordan Romano pitched a perfect 9th for his 5th save of the season
- Final score: Blue Jays 4 A's 1
- The Blue Jays had their first bullpen game of the season. Ross Stripling did his part as fist man up, firing 4 shutout innings, allowing a pair of hits while striking out 3. Stripling retired the first seven batters he faced. After tonight's performance, Charlie Montoyo should not hesitate in starting him when the team needs another bullpen game.
- Trevor Richards, Tim Mayza, Adam Cimber, Yimi Garcia and Jordan Romano combined to hold A's batters to 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 8 over the final 5 innings. The 5 relievers retired the final 11 A's batters in order
- It was refreshing to see the Blye Jays score three of four runs on something other than a home run. They also got unlikely heroes with Zack Collins driving in his first run in a Blue Jays uniform and Santiago Espinal also driving a run
- Every Blue Jays batter except Matt Chapman and Cavan Biggio had at least one hit
- The Blue Jays were 2-11 with runners in scoring position
- Up next, the Blue Jays try to make it two straight wins. Hyun-Jin Ryu starts against A's righty Paul Blackburn