Left for dead following an 11-23 stretch going into the All-Star Break, the Toronto Blue Jays have come out of the Break on fire. The Jays are 7-3 in their ten games in the second half, taking two out of three from the Rangers, three out of four from the reeling Red Sox, and two out of three at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately for them, the Orioles have also played well, going 6-4 since the Break and only losing one game in the standings to Toronto. Before the two teams meet in Toronto starting next Tuesday, the Orioles have three games with the Angels, three more with the Mariners, and one with the Nationals, while the Blue Jays have three games in Boston and four in Houston. Can we just get through the trade deadline already?
Game of the Day: Blue Jays 5, Yankees 4. Toronto’s Sunday victory did not come easily. After a solo homer by Juan “The Man” Francisco extended the Jays’ lead to 2-0 in the fifth, Chase Headley and Francisco Cervelli went back to back in the bottom of the inning off J.A. Happ to tie the game at two. Colby Rasmus doubled in Dan Johnson to make it 3-2 in the sixth, but Brian McCann responded with an infield single to score Jacoby Ellsbury to tie the game at three. In the eighth, Munenori Kawasaki brought Rasmus in with a sac fly, but Aaron Sanchez allowed an RBI single to Carlos Beltran to tie the game once again at four. Yankees closer David Robertson came in for the top of the ninth, and gave up the lead, allowing an RBI single to Dioner Navarro. Navarro drove in Jose Bautista, who reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole a base to set up the go-ahead single. In the ninth, Casey Janssen set down New York in order to seal off the win.
Pitching Lines of the Day: It wasn’t a “great pitching Sunday”. Sorry, everyone. Doug Fister pitched the Nationals to a 4-2 win over the Reds, allowing three hits in seven shutout innings, walking one and striking out five. Rick Porcello pitched great in Detroit’s 2-1 loss to the Angels, allowing just one unearned run on five hits in seven innings, punching out six without a walk. Jacob deGrom and the Mets beat the Brewers 2-0, as deGrom spun 6 1/3 shutout frames, giving up four hits, two walks, and striking out four. Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals edged the Cubs 1-0, with Waino allowing five hits over seven scoreless innings, walking three and striking out three.
Hitting Lines of the Day: The Indians rolled the Royals 10-3, and their catching tandem did most of the damage. Carlos Santana went 3/3 with two homers, a walk, and four RBI, while Yan Gomes went 3/5 with a homer and two RBI. In the loss for the Royals, Billy Butler went 3/4 with a double, a run, and an RBI. Josh Harrison helped the Pirates beat the Rockies 7-5, going 4/6 with a double, a homer, two runs, two RBI, and two stolen bases. Jose Altuve played well in Houston’s 4-2 loss to Miami, going 3/4 with a solo homer and a stolen base. In Seattle’s 3-2, ten inning loss to Baltimore, Mike Zunino went 3/4 with a solo homer.
Other Games: The Red Sox ended the Rays’ winning streak with a 3-2 victory. The Phillies topped the Diamondbacks 4-2 despite recording just four hits. The Twins edged the White Sox 4-3. The Braves beat the Padres 8-3.
Today’s Games: Ervin Santana and the Braves host the Padres. R.A. Dickey gets the nod for the Blue Jays in Boston against Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox. Kyle Lohse starts for the Brewers in St. Pete against Jake Odorizzi and the Rays. Homer Bailey starts for the Reds against the Diamondbacks. Bartolo Colon and A.J. Burnett will square off at Citi Field in *possibly* the final start for each man with his current team. Jordan Zimmermann and Nate Eovaldi will tango in Miami. Yu Darvish and the Rangers host the Yankees. Jesse Chavez starts for the A’s in Houston. Madison Bumgarner and the Giants host the Pirates.
National TV: Padres-Braves (12 PM, MLB Network), Blue Jays-Red Sox (7 PM, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.