TORONTO – On the primary pitch Vladimir Guerrero Jr. noticed Tuesday night, he doubled to proper subject. On the second, he hit a three-run homer to centre.
And whereas there was much more to the sport than these two pitches, they went a good distance towards permitting the Blue Jays to open the Buffalo portion of their house schedule with a 5-1 win over the visiting Miami Marlins in entrance of a restricted capability sellout at Sahlen Discipline.
Massive offensive video games from Marcus Semien and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. additionally helped the Blue Jays enhance to 28-25 whereas on the pitching aspect, one other spectacular outing from Robbie Ray saved Miami’s lineup underneath management.
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Over the course of six innings, the Marlins managed only one run on six hits in opposition to Ray, who walked two whereas putting out 9. His fastball topped out at 98.3 m.p.h. whereas a pointy slider generated 13 swinging strikes. Two months into the season, he has a formidable 3.57 ERA due to much-improved management.
Even the bullpen pitched properly, rebounding from a tough end Sunday that led to a loss in a sport the Blue Jays ought to have gained. Left-hander Tim Mayza, who had allowed 12 earned runs over his earlier 5.1 innings, got here by with a scoreless seventh earlier than Rafael Dolis and Jordan Romano closed it out.
And so with Alek Manoah’s second profession begin on the horizon Wednesday and an off-day to look ahead to Thursday, some order has been restored for the Blue Jays. Life within the American League East gained’t be straightforward this 12 months, and their roster has some points that want addressing earlier than the July 31 commerce deadline, however they’re a contender now with room to enhance on what they confirmed over the primary two months of the season.
The way in which crew president Mark Shapiro sees it, there’s purpose to imagine this crew can go on a run. That the Blue Jays will face lesser opponents because the summer time unfolds is simple, and enjoying the likes of the Orioles, Tigers and Mariners will assist. However past the schedule, Shapiro pointed to gamers getting back from damage, the continuing growth of the crew’s younger core and the character of the gamers on the roster.
“The resilience and toughness that our crew has proven within the face of a lot adversity,” Shapiro stated through Zoom on Tuesday afternoon. “So many accidents and two completely different houses, none of which are literally a house. I take all these issues, add them collectively: the make-up, the character, the toughness, the expertise and the pattern and I say, I actually really feel like we’ve acquired a superb run in us.”
After the final two weeks, it’s evident the Blue Jays’ bullpen is now weak, and Shapiro acknowledged as a lot. Clearly, that’s an space the Blue Jays will discover. But there’s nonetheless loads of time for must evolve, so even because the Blue Jays ramp up their commerce talks, they’ll keep versatile.
“You possibly can have a look at something from a steadiness to our lineup to the bullpen to a different starter,” Shapiro stated. “There are a number of methods to enhance the crew. What I do know for sure is that Ross (Atkins) and our baseball operations employees have already began dialogue (on) these conversations. Over the subsequent two months, these conversations will get extra critical and enhancing this group is one thing that not solely occurs a few instances a 12 months, it’s a continuing obsession.”
With a farm system that features eight of the sport’s high 100 prospects as ranked by Baseball America, the Blue Jays definitely have the flexibility to bid on controllable, star-calibre gamers in the event that they so select. However as Tuesday’s sport confirmed, there’s an enviable quantity of high-end expertise already on this roster. It’s additionally potential significant supporting gamers might be sufficient contemplating the energy of the prevailing core.
The way in which Ray was pitching Tuesday, he wouldn’t look misplaced in a playoff rotation. And Guerrero Jr.’s now batting .337/.441/.663 with an MLB-best 17 house runs after his first profession four-hit sport. Two months into the season, the pattern dimension is getting substantial. At this level, no dialogue of the sport’s finest hitters is full with out Guerrero Jr.
For a Blue Jays crew dreaming about an prolonged sizzling streak, that manufacturing’s a superb place to begin.