A roller coaster type of a week
When a team is missing two of its best hitters, you can’t really expect to be on a roll, especially if one of its relievers blows two leads without registering a single out!
And that the way it was, last week.
The Jays were without Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista and Dustin McGowan wasted solid performances from Mark Buehrle and Marcus Stroman.
The week started on a positive note as the Jays took two games from the Yankees. They really unloaded against Chase Whitley, as they scored eight runs on 11 hits during the first three innings.
Young Marcus Stroman pitched a strong game as he challenged the Yankees with a first pitch strike, giving up only one run on a solo homer by Mark Teixeira. He gave up only three hits, one walk and struck out seven for his fourth win of the season.
Adam Lind stepped in for the injured Bautista, driving in four runs on a single and a homerun while Melky Cabrera, Anthony Gose and Dioner Navarro chipped in two hits each.
The next day, the Jays played with fire, but didn’t get burn!
Mark Buehrle seemed on his way to register only his second lifetime win against the Yankees and his 11th win of the season, when disaster struck in the seventh inning. He was leading 6-2, after two outs, when John Gibbons relieved him with Dustin McGowan.
The righthander could not retire any of the first three hitters he faced and as Cabrera and Jose Reyes committed errors, the game was tied at 6-6.
But Reyes made amends as he started the ninth inning with a double and then, Cabrera surprised everybody, dropping a bunt down the third base line. Yangervis Solarte hurried his throw to first base and as the ball sailed away, Reyes came home with the winning run.
The Jays really wanted to avenge the sweep they had suffered in New York, but Drew Hutchison was unable to shake the problems he has been experiencing in Roger Centre as he was reached for four runs in the third inning.
The Yankees were on their way to a 5-3 win as Hutchison suffered his sixth loss, allowing seven hits, including a two-run shot by Teixeira, and two walks over the first six innings.
The first game of the White Sox series featured J.A. Happ, the pitcher the Jays would like to count on more often, the one that challenges hitters and stays away from bases on balls. He shutout the White Sox on four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts and he notched his seventh win of the season.
For the second game in a row, Reyes sparked the attack as he struck for four more hits while Lind drove in three runs with three hits.
In the second game, R.A. Dickey gave up only five hits over the first six innings… but four of those left the ballpark!
It really was a homerun contest as Edwin Encarnacion hit his 25th homerun of the season, Dioner Navarro, his 5th and Colby Rasmus, his 11th but Jose Abreu countered with two, his 24th and 25th, Dayan Viciedo, his 7th and Alexei Ramirez, his 8th.
The Sox won the slugfest 5-4.
The next game was a real heartbreak for Stroman.
Leading 2-0 after two outs in the seventh inning, he had given up only two hits and two walks when he was relieved by McGowan. In his last start against the Yankees Stroman had made 114 pitches and at that point, he had made only 96.
McGowan quickly served a three-run homer to Viciedo as the Jays were unable to come back and lost 4-3.
And for the finale, Mark Buehrle was once again left to himself, as he suffered a fourth consecutive loss, 4-0, despite allowing only two runs on six hits and two walks over eight innings.
Earlier this year, the Jays used to supply Buehrle with tons of runs, but lately it is not the case. Sunday,they mustered only four hits, including two by Reyes.
Luckily for the Jays, the Yankees and the Orioles also lost…