Blue Jays fall to Tigers
Teoscar Hernandez had two of Toronto’s five hits as the Blue Jays fell to the Detroit Tigers 4-0 on Saturday. In their first pre-season game this year for both teams.
Ryan Borucki gave up two hits, a walk and earned a strikeout over two scoreless innings as Toronto’s (0-1) starter.
Third baseman Santiago Espinal had a triple for the Blue Jays. As outfielder Jonathan Davis and designated hitter, Bo Bichette added base hits.
Niko Goodrum’s two-run homer powered Detroit’s (1-0) four-run third inning.
It was something of a tryout for Borucki. Who hopes to earn the fifth spot in the Blue Jays rotation to start the season.
Borucki demonstrated his potential in his rookie season last year. Pitching to a 4-6 record and a 3.87 earned-run average over 17 starts after making his MLB debut in late June.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins told reporters in his first spring training media session last week that Borucki was not guaranteed a spot in the Blue Jays’ 2019 rotation.
The big damage in Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in the Grapefruit League opener came in the third inning at the hands of Jays pitcher Thomas Pannone. In fact, that’s where all of the runs came.
The four-run Tiger outburst was led by a two-run homer from second baseman Niko Goodrum. Therefore, the interesting story of 19-year-old Rule 5 acquisition Elvis Luciano continued on Sunday. As the youngster pitched a scoreless inning while showing some of his heat in the form of a 95-mile per hour fastball.
Luciano, who has to make the big-league roster to remain with the club. Allowed a single and a walk. “It impressed me how cool and collected he is being that young,” Montoyo said.
“You don’t teach that. Because some kids have it.” We’ve heard much off-season talk about an emphasis on improving team defense. There was a nifty example of it working in the second inning on Saturday.
Second baseman Devon Travis slickly fielded the ball, flipped it to shortstop Freddy Galvis, who fired it off to Justin Smoak for a double play. “That was as tailor-made as it can get,” pitcher Ryan Borucki said. “Having those guys behind me and having that trust I’m a ground ball pitcher. Because we have a pretty good defensive lineup out there.”
Meanwhile, one of the young pitchers that caught Montoyo’s eye was 24-year-old Jackson McClelland. Who pitched a scoreless ninth inning and had a fastball that read 98 miles per hour on the radar. “That was a pretty heavy fastball,” Montoyo said. “Because of this I was impressed.”
Therefore Jays continue to be pleased with the progress of the would-be aces of the starting staff, Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman.
Montoyo said both will make their spring debuts at some point next week.
“It makes me really happy the way they’ve been throwing and pitching (batting practice),” Montoyo said. “They are both healthy and doing well.”
Meanwhile, Sean Reid-Foley gets the ball for Sunday’s start vs. the Orioles.