McKinney leads Toronto Blue Jays to win
Kawhi Leonard was in attendance to support the Blue Jays. And, his aura as a winner must have had a positive effect on the Jays.
Billy McKinney made took full advantage of his first appearance at-bat since May 23rd.
“Being here is nice and I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” McKinney told reporters following his first career walk-off homer, a two-run shot in the bottom of the 10th inning. As the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Los Angeles Angels 7-5 at the Rogers Centre on Thursday evening.
He was called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. Although it took a couple of games and the right situation before McKinney was able to get into a game. Once he did get in the groove; the Jays reaped the benefits. He pinch-ran for Rowdy Tellez during the eighth inning.
“So far, the three guys we have sent down before they came back, are doing good,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, who was also referring to Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who each also home runs.
Meanwhile, Eric Sogard also had a home-run for Toronto.
Furthermore, Nick Kingham picked up the victory after pitching during the 10th inning.
Blue Jays starter Clayton Richard left the game in line for a win. However, Albert Pujols’s sacrifice fly RBI during the seventh inning stopped him from getting his first win of the season. Furthermore, he went five innings plus one batter and allowed four runs on six hits and walked two batters while striking out two.
“It was a baby step in the right direction,” Richard said. “I was able to get ahead on more pitchers today and throw the ball over the plate a little more consistently.”
However, Richard is still without a win this season. Meanwhile, Luis Rengifo drove in three runs including a two-run homer for the Angels. Meaning, they failed to complete a four-game sweep in Toronto.
Ty Buttrey collected the loss for LA. After surrendering the McKinney homer.
Toronto opened the scoring at the bottom of the first. Cavan Biggio hit a sacrifice fly to centre field, which was deep enough to score Sogard from third base for a 1-0 lead. Next, Hernandez would unload on a 3-1 fastball from Suarez to right field for a two-run homer and the Blue Jays led 3-0.
During the second inning, Rengifo jumped on a 1-1 fastball pitch from Richard to left field for a two-run homer. At the time, it cut the Jays lead to 3-2.
However, later in the inning, Sogard hit a solo shot to the right field. Giving the Jays a 4-2 lead.
Wilfredo Tovar hit an RBI ground-out in the fifth-frame, which cut Toronto’s lead down to 4-3. However, in the bottom half, Gurriel hit a solo homer to right-field. Therefore, restoring the Blue Jays two-run lead to 5-3.
In the sixth inning, Rengifo would pick up his third RBI of the game, a single with the bases loaded to cut Toronto’s lead to 5-4. In the seventh inning, Pujols hit a sac fly RBI which tied the game 5-5.
Ken Giles was activated from the 10-day injured list (elbow) and pitched a perfect ninth inning while recording two strikeouts.
“We wanted to use him in a low-leverage situation and right before the game he said, ‘no nevermind, I’d rather pitch when it counts.”