BALTIMORE – The schedule shows there are still four more series remaining vs. the Orioles: If only the Blue Jays could face them every night.
Beating up on the worst team in baseball for the second night in a row here on Thursday, the Jays rode a converted touchdown of a sixth inning to a 12-3 win at Camden Yards and in the process recorded a rare series win.
The way things have gone for the past month and change, the Jays will take them any way they can get them, especially after losing seven in a row on the road before Wednesday’s 8-6 victory.
The Thursday night was a huge night for many at the plate, and perhaps most notably Jays rookie Cavan Biggio, who figures to have an emotional weekend at home in Houston where the Jays begin a three-game series on Friday. Biggio destroyed balls in the second and seventh innings for solo home runs, his second and third of the season.
That seven-run sixth was the type of inning manager Charlie Montoyo has been pleading from the baseball gods for weeks now. All told, the Jays sent a dozen batters up, starting with Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s solo homer.
A Freddy Galvis double scored two more as did a Danny Jansen single and the Jays most productive inning of the season was capped with an RBI single from Justin Smoak. The game was only 5.5 innings old and all nine in the Jays order had at least one hit.
Montoyo has maintained all season that a couple of big nights at the plate was all his languishing offence would need. Nice of the meek Orioles to comply as Toronto took two of three.
Adding to the hit parade was a three-knock night for Vlad Guerrero Jr., his second in as many games and his fifth in 39 career starts.
Catcher Jansen, who brought a .170 average into the game, had a trifecta of singles – the first three-hit night of his career and it was another three-pack for Gurriel, who added two singles to his homer.
Five Jays had multi-hit nights in this one, the 12 runs were a season high and the 17 hits matched a season high. The sixth and the seventh combined were certainly as productive as they come with the Jays sending a combined 20 runners to the plate and scoring 10 runs.
Lost in the explosion at the plate was a solid outing from pitcher Marcus Stroman who allowed seven hits over six innings with just one earned run and five strikeouts.
JAYS SIGN THEIR MANOAH
He’s known for his fastball, but apparently, Jays first-round pick Alek Manoah is solid in the breaking news department as well.
Toronto’s first-round pick (11th overall) in last week’s draft announced via Twitter on Thursday afternoon that he had put “pen to paper” and is officially a Blue Jay. The team confirmed the signing two hours later. Manoah received a singing bonus of $4,547,500 and the 6-foot-6, 260-pound right hander is expected to begin his professional career with the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League.
KINGHAM FOR A DAY
The Jays never-ending quest for pitching help continued with another project on Thursday when the team acquired right-hander Nick Kingham from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
Kingham, who apparently impressed Jays management with his 9.87 ERA in 14 relief appearances with the Pirates this year, is expected to join his new team in Houston on Friday.
To make room for Kingham on the 40-man roster, the Jays transferred reliever Ryan Tepera to the 60-man injury list. Tepera had elbow surgery in late May.
So what was the deal with pitcher Trent Thornton sporting full catcher’s gear in the Jays dugout during Wednesday’s 8-6 win over the Orioles?
Call it a novel twist on the rally cap that just kept going through the Jays six-run fifth inning.
It started with catcher Danny Jansen putting a helmet on his head and told him to wear it. Let Thornton take it from here:
“Guy gets on, next guy comes up and he puts the mask on my face. Chest protector. Next guy gets on and scores a run. Then he said ‘dude, you have to do it the rest of the time.'”
Being a good sport, Thornton kept on the gear for three innings, further lightening the mood in a Jays dugout in need of a boost.
“We like to have a light atmosphere and keep things energetic,” Thornton said. “We were scoring so it was awesome. We needed that win big-time. Nobody’s pressing or anything. It’s just baseball. It happens.”
AROUND THE BASES
Another day, another Jays relief pitcher headed to the injury list with elbow inflammation. Though it isn’t expected to be serious, the team decided to be cautious with 19-year-old rookie Elvis Luciano after he noted pain following an appearance on Wednesday.
Taking Luciano’s spot on the roster is right-hander Justin Shafer, who was recalled from triple A Buffalo. Luciano joins closer Ken Giles in being sidelined with elbow inflammation.
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