The Blue Jays got back in the win column Friday night, taking the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox — 4-3 at the Rogers Centre.
It was a silver lining on a day when the Jays, who had dropped five straight games, lost scheduled starter Clay Buchholz to the injured list because of right shoulder inflammation.
The home side struck early, scoring all of its runs with the long ball in the first two innings, including a solo blast by Teoscar Hernandez — his first homer since April 18.
Toronto employed an opener for the first time this season because of Buchholz’s injury. Daniel Hudson, the first of seven Jays pitchers, surrendered the game’s opening run on back-to-back one-out doubles by Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. Thomas Pannone (optioned to Triple-A on Thursday, recalled on Friday), Sam Gaviglio, Tim Mayza, Ryan Tepera, Joe Biagini and Ken Giles combined to hold the White Sox to two runs on four hits the rest of the way.
“It was huge,” Hudson said about winning after the Jays were swept soundly by the Minnesota Twins this week. “It was a very tough series. Seemed like everything we threw out there kind of got waxed … To get them out of town was a good feeling … it was a big win for the team tonight, for sure.”
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Biagini was credited with the win, improving to 2-1, while Giles notched career save No. 100.
“I’m lost for words. Number 100 is a big deal,” said Giles. “It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs in my career, and in life, just to get to that point, I’m very, very thankful for everybody that’s been there for me from day one, giving me my first chance to close out games. It’s a dream come true. Then most definitely coming here (in a trade with Houston last summer) and embracing me, it was a big, huge thing for me.”
- Ins and outs: Reliever Javy Guerra and outfielder Jonathan Davis were recalled from Triple-A Buffalo, while outfielder Socrates Brito and his .077 average were designated for assignment. Davis, hitting .306 with four homers and a 1.125 OPS in Buffalo, started in centre field. He went 0-for-3 at the plate, but made a game-saving catch at the wall for the final out.
- Blast off: The Jays managed just five hits on the night, but made them count. After walks to Justin Smoak and Rowdy Tellez with two out in the first inning, Randal Grichuk launched his sixth homer of the season to centre field. Hernandez’s second-inning blast was his third of the year.
- Don’t flip out: White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson refrained from flipping the bat after his solo shot into the second deck in left field off Gaviglio in the sixth inning. It was just over three weeks ago that Grichuk, via social media, called out Anderson for such a celebration after a homer against the Kansas City Royals. Grichuk tweeted: “Act like you have done it before, one time.”
- Vlad watch: Jays manager Charlie Montoyo moved Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to the two spot in the lineup for the first time this season, slotted between leadoff man Eric Sogard and Smoak. “He’s had some good at-bats,” Montoyo said of Guerrero, who nonetheless finished the night 0-for-4 with a .146 average. “He hasn’t got any hits, but he’s had good at-bats and I like the idea of him getting into the action quick. Having Sogard and him having good at-bats at the top of the lineup, that’s always good.” Guerrero tried a new look, perhaps to change his luck, wearing his blue knee-high socks over his pants. He grounded into a double play his first time up.
- Walking dread: Smoak walked four times on Friday. Asked if he thought it was an accomplishment, the Jays first baseman said: “No. (Grichuk) was saying something today: ‘Man, four walks, I’d love that.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love a three-run homer, too.’”
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- Up next: Marcus Stroman (1-5, 2.96 ERA), coming off a pair of shaky outings, starts for the Jays on Saturday against right-hander Ivan Nova (1-3, 7.04) and the White Sox at 3 p.m.
Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy
Published at Sat, 11 May 2019 03:01:15 +0000