Navarro's near miss, Boyd, Buehrle, 1985 records stands

By Bob Elliott

Edwin Encarnacion did a jump as he led off second.

Jose Bautista crouched off third, took two steps towards the plate and headed back to third.

Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones said it looked like a long strike.

Reliever Darren O’Day watched the ball leave Dinoer Navarro’s bat and slammed his glove.

And Navarro, who hit what looked like it was an eighth-inning grand slam off the facade of the fourth deck thought the ball had a chance. 

“It was fair for 98.9999% of the way down the line,” said Navarro.

It was so close the umpiring crew reviewed the call. 

“I knew it was foul,” Navarro said. “I just hoped that maybe that saw something different.”
O’Day went back to work against Navarro and struck him out, just as Russell Martin had before him and Kevin Pillar after him leaving the bases loaded.

Big crowd in Cuse: The Syracuse Chiefs drew 5,513 -- and Blue Jays general manager -- to NBT Bank Stadium Friday night as the triple-A Buffalo Bisons scored an 8-6 win. Rehabbing Devon Travis batted lead off and singled in five at-bats. Right-hander Matt Boyd, a sixth round choice from Oregon State, made his second start at Buffalo pitching five innings allowing two runs on six hits, including a first-inning homer to ex-Jay Darin Mastroianni. He struck out four. Luke Scott and Daric Barton each homered for Buffalo.

Anthopoulos attended the funeral of R.A. Dickey’s father Harry Lee Dickey, 63, Saturday in Nashville. Dickey lost his father two days before best start of the season when he allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings against the New York Mets Thursday night. Dickey was placed on bereavement list and infielder Muenori Kawasaki was recalled from Buffalo.

Buehrle fan club: Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter joined the Mark Buehrle admiration society years ago.

“Man is he a joy to watch,” said Showalter after Buehrle pitched seven innings allowing two runs on six hits and a walk Saturday afternoon.

Now, he wishes young pitchers around the game would join in watching and learning from Buehrle too.

“Young pitchers should pay attention to him -- the guy has pitched 200 or more innings 14 straight seasons -- learn how does he do it,” Showalter praised. “Well, he works quickly, fields his position, doesn’t walk anyone and holds runners close.

“I was saying during the game how he never reacts to anything in a positive or negative manner.”

Showalter, like so many others, is amazed at the fact the stoic Buehrle seldom shakes off his catcher.

“Can you imagine the confidence he gives his catcher? And what he does to the hitter who is up there thinking ‘hey this guy knows what he is doing,’” said Showalter. 

Buehrle lowered his ERA to 3.90 with his fourth consecutive outing of allowing the opposition two runs or less. He ERA was 6.75 on May 1.  

In Game: The Orioles tied the score 2-2 in the sixth on a Machado single, a Travis Snider ground-rule double and a shallow fly ball to left off the bat of Delmon Young ... The Jays had gone ahead 2-1 in the second when Russell Martin was hit by a Kevin Gausman pitch, was singed to third by Navarro and scored on a wild pitch ... The Orioles were up 1-0 seven pitches in as Machado doubled over the glove of a leaping left fielder Chris Colabello and Snider singled to right. Adam Jones forced Snider at second scoring Machado ... And 17 pitches into the bottom of the first the Jays tied it on a Jose Reyes double to right, a walk, a Bautista grounder moved Reyes over to third and he scored on an Encarnacion fly ball.

Flashing the leather: Right fielder Bautista made a sliding grab on Chris Davis for the final out of the fourth ... Second baseman Ryan Goins helped get Buehrle out of trouble in the first charging a Young roller, tagging Jones on his way to second and then throwing to first. 

Mark of 1985 stands: No one is ready to compare this edition of Your Toronto Blue Jays to the 1985 team.

That team led by Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Tony Fernandez and managed by Bobby Cox won 99 games to win the American League East in Game 161.

They won more regular-season games than either of the World Series winning teams, including 10 straight at home (July 21-to-Aug. 3).

Well, don’t look now, but this year’s team which headed to Minnesota and Washington D.C. scuffling along with a 22-27 record on May 28 was that close Saturday to winning it’s 10th straight home game Saturday afternoon. They failed so the 1985 mark stands.

A win over the Orioles would have equalled the franchise record of consecutive home wins set 30 years ago.

The victories back then as the Jays took four from the California Angels, three Seattle Mariners, two against the Texas Rangers and one from the Oakland A’s went to Doyle Alexander (three), Tom Filer (two), Jimmy Key, Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy and reliever reliever Dennis Lamp (two). 

This streak was compiled thanks to three wins over the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins and two against the New York Mets and one over the Orioles.

Drew Hutchison (two), Marco Estrada (two), R.A. Dickey, Aaron Sanchez, Scott Copeland and reliever Liam Hendriks (two) had the wins in this nine-game streak.