Jays open up property and look road weary, lose to Angels

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Sometimes the hangover grabs you.

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And you could argue that’s exactly what happened to the Jays on Friday night.

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After a 6-1 road trip, you’d think the momentum and confidence alone would carry you through the night.

But a four-hour, 22-minute marathon that ended in favor of the Jays Thursday night in Boston meant arriving at Toronto airport around 3:30 a.m. and, just as someone’s head hit the pillow , it was probably pushing 5am.

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The Jays canceled batting practice, limiting their pre-game activities to a few ground balls and a shot into the cage.

Then the game started and the effects of the hangover began to show in what would become a 12-0 rout by the visiting Angels.

There was Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who threw a Mike Trout howler at first to throw him into center field for an error.

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Mitch White, the only well-rested Blue Jay who returned home before the team Friday night, ended up charging the bases but escaped unscathed when he pulled out catcher Matt Thaiss.

He wasn’t so lucky the next round.

In the second, the Angels – a team that had scored a total of 12 points in their first seven games of the current 10-game road trip – opened the game with five points. Midway through that five-run inning was a line drive from Shohei Ohtani’s bat that Teoscar Hernandez followed to the wall and then weirdly gave up. The ball came out of the base of the fence as Hernandez looked on.

It became a two-set triple and just one more weird moment in a night of weird times.

Guerrero had another in the same inning by fielding an Andrew Velazquez on the first base line with Angels on first and second. Guerrero looked to third, which was good, but by the time he turned and threw to first, Velazquez had already gone through the sack.

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Under five, the Jays might as well have called it a night.

They didn’t, but some might suggest they did. Twice the Jays loaded the bases, first in the sixth and then again in the eighth, leaving them full both times.

Toronto was held scoreless on the night with Angels starter Reid Detmers taking the win with his 5 1/3 innings scoreless.

Rather than beating his side to a somewhat predictable loss given the circumstances, manager John Schneider chose to look ahead.

« I think you just rinsed it off, » Schneider said. “I think it’s a bad day out of the last eight and you move on to tomorrow. It wasn’t our best baseball brand today. But that’s okay because we rode pretty well and you move on to the next day.

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Four Angels relievers trailed Detmers, also keeping the Jays off the scoreboard.

The Angels bats, perhaps because they’ve been so quiet lately with a team average below .200 for the trip so far, haven’t finished.

Rookie Jo Adell took Yusei Kikuchi into the second deck on the right for a solo shot in the seventh while Mike Trout went acrossfield into the bullpen on the right for a two-run shot an inning later as well against Kikuchi.

The Angels would add two more for a dozen pair, tying their total output for the first seven games of this trip in the ninth with the Jays sending infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield to pitch and save the bullpen more of wear.

Merrifield, who didn’t beat 70 on the radar gun, gave up a two-run homer to Adell to complete the scoring.

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White led the Jays through five innings 7-0 while taking the loss.

Schneider gave him all the props to hang on and give the Jays a five under tough circumstances.

« I thought it was a bit unlucky, » Schneider said. “We probably could have helped him a bit defensively. But he didn’t back down. He wanted to leave for another one, which does him credit to know where we are with the bullpen.

Down a lot early, White said he was squarely focused on going as long as he could.

« I mean as soon as I get punched in the face there, it’s like, ‘Okay, this is going to be a chore,' » White said. “You just have to be ready no matter what. Obviously the game got out of hand, but at this point it’s all about protecting the bullpen and trying to keep the team in it.

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Kikuchi, who is looking to relocate some confidence by working out of the bullpen after losing his spot in the rotation to White, came on in sixth and gave the Jays three innings allowing those two homers but, and that’s important, walking just one batter in those three innings while striking out six.

The Jays have a pair of double-headers on the schedule in September thanks to the rains and Kikuchi, as tough as his recent struggles have been, could feature in those games.

Right fielder Hernandez had to leave the game in the second inning after fouling a ball with his left foot during his only presence at bat.

According to Schneider, this is the second time in the past week that he has been hit on the same foot and he was just looking to protect him by knocking him out of the game when he did.

He will be reviewed before Saturday’s game, but for now he is listed day by day.


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