Where were the hitters?
The last road trip of the season started on a very bad note as the Blue Jays could not buy a hit when they needed one as they fell 5-2 in Baltimore.
How can a team hope for a win when hitters can’t get more than three hits on 16 occasions with runners in scoring position? And 11 runners were stranded on the basepath?
That’s the way the Jays allowed the Orioles to reduce to ONE the magic number which would crown them championsof the Eastern Division of the American League.
Even in the first inning, the Jays reached Wei-Yin Chen for three straight hits, but two strikeouts and an outstanding catch later, he was off the hook as the Jays scored only one run.
On the other side of the ledger, Marcus Stroman was unable to handle the Orioles. He allowed five runs on nine hits on his way to his sixth loss of the year.
The following day, for a second year in a row, the Jays witnessed the champagne celebration of an adversary winning a championship. Last year, the Red Sox had also done it at their expanse.
Just like the day before, the Jays took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Orioles struck right back as Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer off Drew Hutchison.
Once again, the Jays got only one hit with runners in scoring position and when Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run triple in the seventh inning, they were doomed. Despite the fact that Hutchison struck out 11 Orioles, he suffered his 12th defeat of the season, as he gave up six runs on five hits and two walks.
Then the Orioles completed the sweep as they unloaded three homeruns, two more by Steve Pearce, to win it 6-1.
What was unbelievable, is the fact that the Jays put their leadoff hitter on base in seven of the first eight innings while scoring only one run! I guess this is what happens when a team gets only one hit in twelve occasions with runners in scoring positions.
J.A. Happ went down to his 11th loss of the year as the Orioles scored five times on eight hits. Pearce drove in four of those runs with his 19th and 20th homers.
It id not get any better when the Jays arrived in the Bronx as they fell into third place, suffering their fifth loss in a row, 6-2.
A painfull loss as an easy grounder went thru the legs of Adam Lind, allowing pinchrunner Antoan Richardson to reach home with the winning run, in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Aaron Sanchez, who came in relief of R.A. Dickey, was tagged with his second loss. Dickey was solid for six innings and he reached 200 innings on the mound for the fourth season in a row.
Jose Bautista had tied the game, 2-2, when he hit his 33th homerun of the year, a two-run blast to come within one of another 100 rbis season.
In the second game, the Jays went down for the sixth time on this trip, this time by a score of 5-3. Again there was not much to crow about, if not for the first career hit of young Dalton Pompey and the 100th rbi of Bautista.
Mark Buehrle lost despite spending six innings on the mound and he is only six innings away from a 14th consecutive 200 innings season. The crafty lefthander simply cannot handle the Yankees as in 20 career starts, he has a 1-14 record against the Bronx Bombers.
Again, the Jays were hitless with runners in scoring position, even in the seventh inning when they had the bases loaded.
On Sarurday, the Jays ended their six-game losing streak as Stroman won his 11th game of the season, beating the Yankees, 6-3.
Bautista supplied the power with his 34th homerun and Edwin Encarnacion reached the 90-rbi plateau. Casey Janssen recorded his 24th save.
But the road trip ended as it started with another defeat, this time by a score of 5-2. Hutchison could not go beyond the fourth inning. He gave up two homers, including the 15,000th of the Yankees’ history by Brett Gardner.
Joe Reyes got three hits and Encarnacion added two but the Jays could not really get going as Masahiro Tanaka was very sharp in his return to the mound. He won his 13th game and David Robertson notched his 38th save.
A painful week if ever there was one…