Blue Jays set for Teoscar time as offence comes up quick in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND — There will likely be a day — quickly, apparently — when Teoscar Hernandez is again within the Blue Jays lineup serving up a lift to a few of what ails his staff’s offensive assault.

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Whereas the Jays have completed effectively sufficient in a now 20-game damage absence of their cleanup hitter, the success doubtless isn’t sustainable with the latest sluggish output on the plate.

It actually wasn’t on Thursday evening at Progressive Subject the place a first-inning residence run by Vlad Guerrero Jr. wasn’t sufficient to spark the guests, who fell 6-5 within the first of 4 scheduled conferences with the Guardians.

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And the approaching return of Hernandez grew to become much more tantalizing when the Jays cleanup hitter belted a house run in Dunedin on Thursday as he winds up his rehab task in Florida.

Although the Jays had been capable of make issues attention-grabbing on a wet evening not removed from the shores of Lake Erie, they’re nonetheless ready for that breakout stretch of high-flying offence that’s alleged to outline them. 

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There have been moments, most notably that two-run shot by Guerrero that triggered a quick flashback to his virtuoso efficiency right here within the 2019 Residence Run Derby.

There was Alejandro Kirk’s first homer of the season — a solo shot within the seventh and a clutch Zack Collins two-out double that scored a pair within the sixth.

However there was additionally the acquainted playback of Jays hitters going simply one-for-10 with runners in scoring place, an ailment that has been a critical drag on the purportedly prolific assault. And with losses in three of their previous 4, the Jays report has slipped to 16-11.

Supervisor Charlie Montoyo maintains that the lag on runs wil finally type itself out — and he’s doubtless proper. For now, although, the Jays proceed to hunt new methods to grind out one-run wins, all of the whereas including to the wear and tear and tear of a closely used bullpen.

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“It’s going to get to the point where we are going to start doing it because there is a track record of us hitting,” Montoyo mentioned after Thursday’s defeat. “I don’t get frustrated. I’m the ultimate believer.”

After all, even earlier than the rain began to fall on an introduced crowd of 9,104, the Jays efforts had been being compromised by a dismal effort from starter Jose Berrios.

The righty had hassle attacking the strike zone as he lasted simply 4.2 innings whereas permitting eight hits and 6 earned runs. It was hardly the ace-like effort anticipated from the Opening Day starter, who didn’t handle a strikeout in his 82 pitch (59 strikes) outing.

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Montoyo mentioned the Jays are nonetheless hopeful that Hernandez will rejoin the staff earlier than the weekend sequence in Cleveland concludes. So why not Thursday?

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The supervisor mentioned Hernandez needed another outing in Florida, ostensibly to play a full sport within the discipline. He added a single to his homer in that contest in opposition to Clearwater, additional indicating his near-readiness to return.

And right here’s only a snippet of the way it may assist the offence general, particularly within the case of the Hernandez impact on Guerrero.

From April 8-14 when these two had been hitting 3-4 within the Jays lineup, Guerrero hit .333 in 28 plate appearances, hitting 4 homers. Within the 75 plate appearances (previous to Thursday) with Hernandez out of the lineup, he was hitting simply .266 with two homers.

Earlier than the Hernandez damage, Guerrero’s slugging share was .815 and afterwards, .406.

“He’s been one of our best hitters and he protects Vladdy,” Montoyo mentioned. “If you don’t want to pitch too Vladdy, go ahead and pitch to Teoscar.

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“He’s a big part of our team. We do miss him and we can’t wait to see him back.”

Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios delivers during the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. KEN BLAZE/USA TODAY SPORTS
Blue Jays beginning pitcher Jose Berrios delivers in the course of the first inning in opposition to the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Subject. KEN BLAZE/USA TODAY SPORTS


What ought to have been one of many shortest journeys of the Jays season was something however as they didn’t arrive to their downtown resort right here till virtually 4 a.m. on Thursday.

The rationale? A caravan of busses transporting world-class athletes clogging the Canada-U.S. border at Buffalo. Included within the backlog had been the Jays, Yankees and Tampa Bay Lightning, every of which had been flying out of Buffalo Worldwide Airport following Wednesday evening video games in Toronto.

That is nothing new as professional groups have been utilizing this technique for the previous a number of weeks as a result of for land border crossings proof of destructive COVID-19 assessments should not required for entry into the U.S.

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Typical of the Jays runners in scoring place woes took was what occurred within the fifth when Santiago Espinal’s leadoff double was wasted as he couldn’t advance to attain. Within the backside half, the Guardians confirmed the way it was completed nevertheless, with three consecutive RBI hits with two out … Bo Bichette’s kind on the plate continues to warmth up. The Jays shortstop singled in every of his three at-bats and has now recorded hits in every of his final six video games ( 11-for-23 in that stretch.) “I knew that was coming,” Montoyo mentioned of Bichette. “Good hitters are going to hit.” … Montoyo mentioned that the absence of George Springer from the lineup was only a scheduled break day, however the Jays may use his bat for the rest of the sequence. In 4 video games in opposition to the Guardians final season, Springer batted .444 (8-for-19) with two doubles and two residence runs. Springer did are available as a pinch hitter on Thursday, hanging out to steer off the ninth … Some doubtful climate within the forecast for Friday’s contest right here, a matchup that has Kevin Gausman scheduled to face the Guardians Shane Bieber.

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