The euphoria of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s long-awaited promotion and the sweep that coincided with baseball’s top prospect’s first weekend in the big leagues had died down by the time the Blue Jays returned to the Rogers Centre to face the Minnesota Twins on Monday, with nothing much for a muted crowd to see as the home team extended its losing streak to three games.
Jays started Marcus Stroman surrendered six runs, five earned, in 42/3 innings as Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli and company blanked former colleague Charlie Montoyo’s team 8-0.
Frustrations boiled over for Toronto’s skipper in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Montoyo was ejected for the first time in his career, tossed by home plate umpire Adam Hamari for arguing a low third-strike call on Brandon Drury. The ejection came three weeks to the day after fellow first-time manager Baldelli got the run during a game between the Twins and the Jays in Minnesota.
“I thought they were some tough pitches on Drury so I went up there and let Adam know what I thought,” Montoyo said. “I knew I was going to get thrown out.”
Drury wasn’t the first Toronto batter who took issue with the strike zone, but the game wasn’t lost arguing balls and strikes. A second straight off night for Stroman, who has received just three runs of support in five starts at the Rogers Centre this season, made Toronto’s offensive woes even more obvious. The Jays managed just three hits and two walks, with Twins starter Martin Perez going seven shutout innings.
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- Struggles for Stroman: The right-hander gave up two home runs in a start for the first time since August 2017, a two-run shot to right field by Twins catcher Jason Castro in the second, after a Jonathan Schoop double, and a solo homer by left fielder Eddie Rosario that knocked Stroman out of the game in the fifth.
Stroman, who lasted just 31/3 innings last time out against the Los Angeles Angels, surrendered at least one run in four of the first five innings. “Just wash it, move on,” he said. “Just didn’t have feel.”
- About Vlad: Mistakes were always going to be part of the deal when introducing Guerrero to the big leagues. The third baseman committed his second error in nine games Monday when a playable grounder bounced off his shoe to extend the second inning by one batter. He went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts to drop his average down to .152, but Montoyo didn’t think his hitting struggles were affecting his fielding. “No, I think it’s tough luck that it’s happening at the same time.”
- This and that: Galvis, Rowdy Tellez and Randal Grichuk produced Toronto’s three hits, all singles … Sam Gaviglio continued to shine for the Jays, striking out one in 12/3 innings to drop his ERA to 1.13 … Minnesota’s seventh and eighth runs came by way of a solo homer for Jorge Polanco off Daniel Hudson and a sacrifice fly for Rosario off Thomas Pannone.
- Up next: Aaron Sanchez looks for a bounceback performance against the Twins, after lasting just four innings last Thursday versus the Angels. He faces Minnesota right-hander Jose Berrios, who owns a 2.91 ERA this season.
Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy
Published at Tue, 07 May 2019 02:11:32 +0000