|Whit Merrifield scored a run and drove in a run in a losing effort as the Twins came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 9-4|
After a tough extra innings loss yesterday, the Blue Jays were looking to even the weekend series with the Twins. It was a bullpen day with Alek Manoah down in Florida trying to work out his pitching issues. Trevor Richards got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. George Springer was back in the lineup and in RF after the complete day off yesterday. Daulton Varsho was in CF and Whit Merrifield was in LF. Could the Blue Jays even the weekend series? Here is today's game recap.
- The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Whit Merrifield singled scoring Matt Chapman
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Vladimir Guerrrero Jr. singled scoring Brandon Belt, who pulled his left hamstring on the play.
- Trevor Richards pitching line: 3IP 1H 0R 1BB 7K 53 pitches (31 for strikes)
- The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 5th on a sac fly by Nathan Lukes that scored George Springer
- Joe Ryan pitching line: 6IP 6H 3R (all earned) 1BB 4K 84 pitches (56 for strikes)
- The Twins got one back in the top of the 7th as Trevor Larnach hammered a solo bomb to dead center
- The Twins took the lead in the top of the 8th on a grand slam to left-center by Carlos Correa; also scoring Michael A. Taylor, Edouard Julien and Donovan Solano
- Three batters later, Max Kepler clobbered a three0run bomb to right-center; also scoring Larnach and Willi Castrio
- The Twins added a run in the op of the 9th as Alex Kiriloff doubled scoring Solano
- The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Santiaho Espinal singled scoring Whit Merrifield
- Final score:Twins 9 Blue Jays 4
- Trevor Richards gave the Blue Jays what they were hoping for: three solid shutout innings, allowing a hit and a walk. Being a starting pitcher is a completely different beast than a reliever. Of course, Richards isn't built up to be a traditional starter, but it was good to see him take care of the first three innings. The Blue Jays will likely have a bullpen day every five days until the all-star break at least and likely longer. I doubt Manoah will be ready to pitch in the majors in a month and Hyun-Jin Ryu will need several rehab starts before he'd be ready for a start.
- The rest of the bullpen, especially Adam Cimber and, to a lesser extent Mitch White, were a complete disaster. allowing 9 runs on 9 hits over the last three innings. It started in the 7th when Trevor Larnach took Bowden Francis deep in the 7th. Then Cimber came in and gave up 6 runs on 5 hits and a hit batter, including a grand slam. White replaced Cimber and promptly gave up a three-run no-doubter to the first batter he faced (2 of the runs were charged to Cimber). Tim Mayza was the only reliever to not give up a run.
- It's unfortunate that Brandon Belt pulled his hammy on the run he scored. It means Cavan Biggio will likely see time at 1B until Belt is healed up
- Offensively, the Blue Jays had a decent day, going 3-6 with runners in scoring position. They have been comically bad at driving in runners, and that is a big reason why they have endured multiple losing streaks
- Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap the two game skid and avoid being swept for the 4th time this season. Kevin Gausman starts against Twins righty Louie Varland.