Stroman’s complete game not wasted this time around
By Michael DiStefano
Canadian Baseball Network
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Marcus Stroman threw his second complete game in three starts, John Gibbons was ejected, and the Blue Jays bats came alive.
Stroman (2-2) only needed 99 pitches through nine innings of work, and used a four-run eighth inning, to lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the Anaheim Angles 6-2 on Sunday.
“I think it gives our offense a little bit of motivation and inspiration going deep, so that’s my goal each and every time,” Stroman said.
The Blue Jays subsequently exploded for four runs in the eighth inning, including home runs from Devon Travis and Kevin Pillar to seal the game.
Stroman gave up one earned run with five strikeouts in the victory, while also retiring 17 straight batters between the third and ninth inning.
Gibbons was ejected after arguing with Ramon De Jesus, home plate umpire, after he awarded Kole Calhoun first base due to an illegal quick-pitch thrown by Stroman on a 3-1 count.
Travis went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. Pillar and Ryan Goins each hit a home run for the Blue Jays (5-13), who’s victory gives them a one game lead in the all-time game series between the two clubs, which now sits at 205-204.
Deolis Guerra (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs in 2/3 innings pitched and Brooks Pounders was hit hard as he surrendered four more runs in 1 1/3 innings, including two homers.
Daniel Wright had a no decision after he pitched five shutout innings allowing three hits and collected three strikeouts for the Angles (8-12), who have now lost four of their last five games.
Albert Pujols went 3-for-4 and scored a run, while Andrelton Simmonds went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Angels tested Stroman early with hits from Trout and Pujols before CJ Cron hit into an inning-ending double play to keep the game tied after one inning of play.
Pillar drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the third, but was picked off and tagged out by Simmonds to end the inning while trying to steal second base.
Gibbons was tossed from ball game for the first time of the year after arguing with De Jesus about Stroman’s quick-pitch.
Stroman was also upset about the call because he felt he wasn’t given a proper explanation for the umpire’s decision. The right-hander worked on ramping up his quickness on the mound in the offseason, but is not worried the rule will effect him going forward.
“I did it [again] a couple times and nothing was called,” Stroman said of the quick pitch. “I think [De Jesus] just kind of got thrown off by the hitter.”
Following Gibbons’ ejection, Calhoun came around to score on a Pujols single to left field to open the scoring 1-0.
Blake Parker came in on relief duty for Wright in the sixth inning and struck out the side in order in his only inning of work.
Stroman replied with a 1-2-3 sixth inning himself, striking out the side of Trout, Pujols, and Cron in order, which seemed to have prompted the Jays’ hitters to find their offence.
Travis hit a two-run shot off Guerra to take the lead 2-1 and sparked a four run eighth inning for the Blue Jays.
“I looked at the scoreboard under our runs column and we had zero. I knew it was time for us to get [the offence] going,” Travis said to himself before he got the Jays on the board with his first homer of the season.
Pillar extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run off Pounders hit to deep centre field to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Carrera followed with a triple to the right field corner off Pounders with two outs and came around to score on a single from Kendrys Morales to extend the lead 4-1.
Pillar drew cheers from the Toronto fans in the stadium with another highlight real worthy diving catch to end the eighth.
The Blue Jays’ hot bats carried into the ninth as Goins hit a two-run shot to right field off Pounders to make it 6-1 and ice the game, despite the Angels collecting one more run in the bottom half of the inning.
The Blue Jays own a 2-1 series lead heading into Monday’s matchup where Ricky Nolasco (1-2) will face Francisco Liriano (1-1), as the Jays look to win their first series of the season.