TORONTO – In the afternoon, the bats of the Toronto Blue Jasmine were quiet. They managed seven wins against starter Charlie Morton. It seemed that if Tansby Swanson scored two runs to Tim Maysa in sixth place, the otherwise successful three-way city road trip would end in loss.
Instead, the Blue Jays line-up did its best work of late, with both Cavan Piccio and Bo Pichet coming off game-changing victories, with Toronto winning 8-4 and sweeping Atlanta to finish their road trip 6-4.
Piccio just doubled a Teescar Hernandez walk to build the game in the eighth base. An innings later, Danny Johnson and Marcus Semion both outscored Pitchett with nothing, and he doubled in the right-center-field break and scored both runs.
After three battles, Piccio would double the picchete home, and Blue Zeus had more breathing room. Now they have a record of 20-16 at Dunedin, Fla.
All season, the Blue Zeus battled with injuries, especially for George Springer, who ran on the field and took more swings on Thursday, but was not on the verge of returning. They have played 25 road games compared to just 11 home games – of course, even those “home” games have taken place in a ballpark with a low-A team. While some of their American league rivals have a chance to beat Baltimore or Detroit, the two worst teams in the league, the Blue Zeus have yet to play any team.
Beyond those doubles, Piccio also walked twice, raising his season base percentage to 333, which was higher than the MLB average of 311. After a slow start to the season, on the plate and on the field, the 26-year-old has recently been over-producing in all aspects of the game.
When the late attack preparation stood alone on Thursday, Blue Jays initially stayed in the game thanks to Rose Stripling. He led Atlanta to two runs over five innings, the best pitch of the season.
He had a lot of lives on his pitches, a slider approaching 90 mph and a fastball topping 94.7 mph, but so was Houston last Friday. Stripping wondered if the Astros had hit him hard that day, and then whether Houston’s hitters would take the place from him and catcher Danny Johnson.
“The first thing that goes through your mind is, ‘Maybe I’m going to wipe my hand,'” Stripping said at the time.
From that game, the Blue Jays catchers then set their own goals in an obvious attempt to keep the opponents guessing, and it was Reese McQuire who caught the stripping against the Braves. Whatever the reason, only 15 swinging strikes on 84 pitches, nine strikes and two runs were allowed compared to one walk.
Ronald Aquina Jr., who fell against Stripleng in the first half, then first suffered an injury scare in a close game. He fell to the ground and needed the team coach’s attention before leading to a defensive replacement at the top of the eighth inning.
After Stripping’s dismissal, Blue Jesse’s Bulbane did their part with the only stigma coming in Swanson’s home against Meiza. Scoreless innings by Joel Pimps, Travis Bergen and Jordan Romano helped close the Blue Jazz from the seventh inning.
Now, Blue Zeus returns to Dunedin for their final home base in DT Ballpark, starting in early June, before moving north to Buffalo, New York, Buffalo. While returning home is definitely a welcome change, it is planned to visit Philadelphia Bliss, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays next.