Brewers Play Spoiler in Blue Jays’ Home Opener
By Michael Distefano
Canadian Baseball Network
Domingo Santana’s go-ahead homer in the fifth inning spoiled the Toronto Blue Jays’ home opener as the Milwaukee Brewers won 4-3 Tuesday night.
Santana went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, including the game winner, while Manny Pina had three hits and threw out Kevin Pillar trying to steal second base in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Neftali Feliz closed out the ball game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save of the season while Willy Peralta (2-0) pitched six innings giving up three runs, four walks, and struck out seven in the win for the Brewers (3-5), who had a season high 11 hits in the ball game.
Milwaukee beat the Jays 5-3 on June 7, 1989 when the concrete clam staged its first ball game.
Troy Tulowitzki went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and batted in all three runs and Kendrys Morales had three hits for the Blue Jays (1-6), who’ve started 1-6 for the first time in franchise history.
J.A. Happ (0-2) was tagged with the loss as he pitched 4 2/3 innings with four earned-runs on nine hits and eight strikeouts in front of a sold out Rogers Centre.
Russell Martin went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on the night, extending his early season hitting slump to 0-for-18.
Keon Broxton opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a solo home run to left centre field. Santana’s infield single scored Travis Shaw after he tripled off the wall to grab a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Tulowitzki replied with a hard hit double to centre that scored Bautista to cut the lead in half through one frame.
The Brewers extended their lead back to two when Broxton took off on contact from third base and scored on a bang-bang play at home plate off a Shaw infield hit to second base.
Devon Travis walked and scored off a sacrifice fly by Tulowitzki in the third inning to make it 3-2.
Brewers threatened in the fourth with back-to-back singles to start the frame, but Happ retired the next three batters to get out of the inning without surrendering a run.
Santana’s solo home run came in the top of the fifth inning to make it 4-2, which was immediately followed by a Jesus Aguilar double to right field which knocked Happ out of the ball game.
Morales chugged home from first base off Tulowitski’s second double of the game off Paralta to cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Pillar channeled his inner Superman again when he robbed Aguilar of a leadoff base hit in the top of the eighth inning with a gold glove caliber diving catch.
The Toronto crowd erupted for the injured Josh Donaldson when came in to pinch hit for Ryan Goins in the ninth inning, but to no avail he struck out swinging on a full count while only down by one run.
Feliz got Travis to pop out to right field for the final out of the game for the Brewers, which gave the Blue Jays their sixth consecutive home-opening loss dating back to 2011.
Game 2 of the series continues Wednesday night with Marcus Stroman (1-0) and Chase Anderson (0-0) on the mound.