Series Sum-Up: White Sox vs. Blue Jays

Kendrys Morales' moonshot, two-run home run in the seventh inning in Sunday's game helped the Blue Jays salvage one win in their three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

Kendrys Morales' moonshot, two-run home run in the seventh inning in Sunday's game helped the Blue Jays salvage one win in their three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

By: Emily (@JaysGirlEmily)

Canadian Baseball Network

Game 1: Friday, June 16
Jays lose, 4-11
Losing Pitcher: Joe Biagini

In both the 1st and 2nd innings, the White Sox started things against Joe Biagini with infield singles – one to Biagini, one to second base. In the 1st inning, four runs scored after a walk, a triple, a sac fly, another single, and a double. In the 2nd, three scored after another single, and back-to-back doubles before the first out was recorded. Biagini’s night was done. Kendrys Morales scored one for Toronto with a leadoff homer in the 2nd, and Steve Pearce followed suit in the 3rd, with his fifth home run of the year in his first game back from injury. However, in that time, another Chicago run had scored with a pair of hits off Dominic Leone.

The 4th inning was the first time Blue Jays pitching recorded an out before allowing a baserunner. Leone didn’t allow a runner that inning. Jeff Beliveau came in for the 5th, and allowed a 3-run homer to former Blue Jay Melky Cabrera to put the White Sox up 11-2. Pearce reached second on an error in the bottom half, but then was thrown out at home trying to score on a Darwin Barney single.

Jose Quintana lasted 7 innings, after allowing two runs on five hits. Quintana also walked two Jays and struck out five. Justin Smoak hit his 19th home run of the year in the 9th inning, driving in the third and fourth Blue Jays runs of the game.

Game 2: Saturday, June 17
Jays lose, 3-5
Losing Pitcher: Marcus Stroman

Stroman took his first loss in 11 starts as he allowed three earned runs over 7 innings. All three runs were the result of solo homers – Todd Frazier and Matt Davidson went back-to-back in the 2nd, then Jose Abreu led off the 6th with another. Stroman allowed three other hits, all singles, and a walk, along with striking out five. As is common with him on the mound, the Jays turned two double plays - one in the 5th which Stroman himself started, the other on a line out to Ryan Goins in the 6th.

Goins drove in a run in the 2nd with a ground-rule double. Troy Tulowitzki was prevented from also scoring because the ball bounced over the wall. In the 7th, the Jays scored again after Justin Smoak singled, Tulowitzki walked, and Dwight Smith Jr. got his first career RBI with a single that scored Smoak.

Josh Donaldson made two fielding errors - doubling his season total. One of them came with two on and two out in the 8th, and led to an unearned run off Ryan Tepera. The other, in the 5th, was stranded. The fifth and final White Sox run was the result of Aaron Loup allowing a leadoff double in the 9th, then making a throwing error while fielding a Yolmer Sanchez sacrifice bunt. The Blue Jays had six hits and took one walk, while striking out nine times. Their pitchers allowed eight hits and two walks (one intentional) while striking out six.

Game 3: Sunday, June 18
JAYS WIN!!! 7-3
Winning Pitcher: J.A. Happ

J.A. Happ kept the White Sox scoreless through his first 4 innings, until back-to-back-to-back singles led off the 5th and scored a run. A sacrifice bunt and a strikeout later, another single from Jose Abreu scored a pair, putting Chicago up 3-0. The Jays got a run back in the bottom half, when Kevin Pillar singled to score Steve Pearce. Happ closed out his outing with a perfect 6th, then allowed a double in the 7th, which Danny Barnes entered the game to strand. In 6-2/3 innings, Happ allowed three runs on eight hits, with no walks and nine strikeouts (tied for his season high).

In the bottom of the 6th, a two-out rally saw Troy Tulowitzki single and Russell Martin hit a home run to tie the game. Pearce then singled, and Ryan Goins hit his first triple of the season, scoring Pearce and giving the Jays a 4-3 lead. In the 7th, Kendrys Morales hit a two-run moonshot off the facing of the fifth deck, leading Buck Martinez to remark, "That would have gone farther, but it ran into the stadium." The rally was not done there, Justin Smoak singled, Tulowitzki reached on a force out, and Martin walked on four pitches. Pearce hit a ground-rule double which scored Tulowitzki, but fan interference on Pearce's double held back another run from scoring. Opportunity for a bigger rally was snuffed when Kevin Pillar grounded out with the bases loaded.

Barnes and Roberto Osuna combined for 2 1/3 hitless innings, with two strikeouts apiece. Their lone baserunner was a two-out walk Barnes issued to Todd Frazier in the 8th - Frazier was then credited with a stolen base when he and batter Matt Davidson mistook the count for four balls, rather than three. Frazier set off casually for second base when Davidson appeared to take a walk; Frazier reached safely despite Martin throwing behind him. Davidson eventually struck out.

Toronto had 13 hits, Chicago had eight.

Overall Notes:

Steve Pearce returned from the disabled list at the beginning of the series, and Chris Coghlan took his place on it. Coghlan had a ‘wrist contusion’ that had been bothering him for over a month, though fans have speculated his injury may be more the result of his .200/.299/.267 slash line. Putting him on the DL is a way to free up the roster spot while still holding onto the utility fielder (he would have to go through waivers before being assigned to Buffalo).

The Jays were tormented by the ground-rule double all series long – the game-tying run was held back due to the rule in the 2nd inning of Saturday’s game, then Kendrys Morales hit one in the 1st on Sunday that Josh Donaldson could have been able to score on if it had stayed in the park. Steve Pearce was robbed of another RBI later in that same game when a fan interfered (the fan-interference rule, in that case, has the same consequences as a ground-rule double).

Weirdly Specific Record Alert:

(This was accurate as of the start of game time on Saturday)

My Favourite Player(s) of the week: Tulowitzki/Morales/Barnes

Tulo was in a bit of a slump prior to this series. He was 2-for his last 24 coming in, with one walk and no extra base hits over six games. But in this series, he turned it around and went 4-for-9 with two walks, and two runs scored.

Kendrys Morales hit two home runs in this series, as well as a double, and went 4-for-13. He drove in three and scored three times – he also has three home runs in his last four games played.

Danny Barnes made two appearances in this series, totaling 2 1/3 innings pitched, with no hits or runs allowed. He struck out four. At the time he entered the game on Sunday, the tying run was in scoring postion – but he left it there. 

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