Blue Jays ready to turn page after tough set with Rangers

Blue Jays ready to turn page after tough set with Rangers

Gausman’s start derailed after Vlad’s two-run HR; Toronto falls 1 1/2 back of Wild Card

4:17 AM UTC

TORONTO — The Blue Jays are running out of reset buttons.

After each of the four games in this series against Texas, it was common to hear Toronto’s players preach a short memory, an impetus to turn the page and do better tomorrow. There’s certainly value to that sentiment, but at some point a contending team must turn its signs of life into consistent runs.

That eluded the Blue Jays once again on Thursday night, as the club was handed a 9-2 loss by the Rangers at Rogers Centre to drop 1 1/2 games out of an American League Wild Card spot.

  • Games remaining (15): vs. BOS (3), at NYY (3), at TB (3), vs. NYY (3), vs. TB (3)
  • Standings update: Toronto is 1 1/2 games behind idle Seattle for the final AL Wild Card spot and 2 1/2 games behind Texas. The Mariners and Rangers hold the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays.
  • Tiebreakers: Lose vs. Texas; win vs. Houston; lose vs. Seattle.

As the dejected Blue Jays walked off the field after mustering just four hits in the finale, no one looked too ready to flush this latest loss right away.

“We had a [lousy] series,” manager John Schneider said. “What you’re seeing in their faces is a result of [what happened] over the last four games.”

For a while in the early innings, it looked like the big bats would finally turn the tide and avoid the sweep.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who had been held to a single in the first three games of the series, smoked a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. But starter Kevin Gausman, who had thrived through scarce run support for large stretches of the season, couldn’t tap into his dominance in this one.

Walks were Gausman’s big issue. The AL Cy Young candidate allowed six along with four runs on six hits (two homers) over 4 2/3 innings to go with five strikeouts.

“Today is completely on me,” Gausman said. “To go out and give up the lead right away, then we get the momentum back, and then, I give it up [again] right away. It’s just unacceptable, and that whole game after that is on me.”

Those are the words of a good teammate. Still, Toronto’s offense had its chances. The Blue Jays put runners on base often enough against starter Nathan Eovaldi and a suspect Rangers bullpen. But the early fire faded out, and they finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

“This series, we played terrible,” Gausman said. “In all facets. … It was a rough series, and to get swept at home is tough. But we’ve got a good [Boston] team coming in tomorrow and we’re still right there.”

The Blue Jays have no choice but to look ahead as they get set to welcome the Red Sox in a weekend series that will wrap up a 10-game homestand. A pair of series against the Yankees and two more sets against the Rays close out the regular-season schedule.

“This game will test you mentally, physically, everything,” Schneider said. “Guys deal with it every day. That’s kind of how they’re built, how they’re wired. And they have to just continue to do that. There’s really no other option than to come in here tomorrow and play our [butts] off.”

Hope will go a long way, but anger may very well turn into the secret ingredient.

“We’re mad,” Gausman said. “We’re all competitors, and we don’t like what happened in this series [against Texas]. It left a bad taste in our mouth. But we can’t do anything right now, but keep going. …

“We’ve got to use that going forward, use whatever frustration we have and try to take it out on the other team.”

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *