Aaron Sanchez wanted the fourth inning back after the Blue Jays’ 5-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
There was a lot to like about the right-hander’s performance at the Rogers Centre. Sanchez retired eight of the first 10 batters and notched 11 strikeouts in total — one off his personal high, and the most he’s had since September 2016. He also set a season high with 103 pitches in six innings, giving the overworked bullpen a break for the second straight day after Marcus Stroman worked 6 1/3 innings on Saturday.
But there was nothing to like about the way a five-run fourth went off the rails.
After a Yoan Moncada fly out, it unravelled: Jose Abreu single, Yonder Alonso homer, James McCann single, Charlie Tilson single, Tim Anderson homer.
“It seems like, of his nine starts, there’s always that one inning. Otherwise he’s been outstanding,” said manager Charlie Montoyo, who saw Sanchez struggling to locate his pitches in the fatal frame. Sanchez, now 3-4 with a 3.75 ERA, blamed it on pitch selection.
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Meanwhile, the Jays offence offered little support once again before an announced crowd of 24,222. After four hits in their first seven trips to the plate against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, the Jays were held hitless the rest of the way with just one walk.
The Jays have lost four series in a row and fell to a season-worst eight games below .500 at 16-24.
Asked how the team feels before a road trip that starts Tuesday in San Francisco, Sanchez said: “What are you going do you? You’ve got to keep playing. Can’t sit here and dwell on it. I’ve said that time and time again. It is what it is. We’re going to try to show up every night and win ball games and that’s our focus, and we’ll let nine innings and 27 outs dictate that.”
- One for mom: Toronto’s lone run came in the first inning. Leadoff man Freddy Galvis singled and advanced to third on a hard-hit double by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Rowdy Tellez produced an RBI single to left field two batters later, crossing himself and pointing to the sky when he reached first base. Sunday was Tellez’s first Mother’s Day without his mom Lori, who died of cancer last August.
- This and that: Toronto pitchers struck out a season-high 16 batters. Reliever Daniel Hudson, Tim Mayza and Joe Biagini combined for five Ks in three shutout innings … Montoyo confirmed veteran starter Edwin Jackson, acquired from the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, will make his Jays debut on Wednesday against the Giants … Stroman’s mom, Adlin Auffant, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
- Vlad watch: Guerrero had reached base in five consecutive plate appearances before a fly out in the third. He’s batting .191 after a 1-for-4 day.
- Up next: The Jays get an off day in the Golden State before taking on the San Francisco Giants in a two-game series starting Tuesday at 9:45 p.m.
Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy
Published at Sun, 12 May 2019 20:20:37 +0000