Playing with our emotions, the Toronto Blue Jays decided to go down to a one-run lead with two outs to go in the game and came out with the 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Coming down to the wire but eventually completing the game, the Jays now win their second-straight and look to win their first series of the 2019 season as they have two left against the Twins this week before they head to Oakland.
Highlighted by an exciting offensive sixth inning and a stellar defensive play by Teoscar Hernandez (???), this win felt good.
- The Jays almost coughed this one up late as Ken Giles came in with a two-run lead to make the save but gave up a solo home run to former teammate Marwin Gonzalez to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Just to make us feel alive and experience having a one-run lead with a runner on base with two outs — so nice of them! To get the final out of the game, C.J. Cron goes for the tying run at home as Byron Buxton hit a double to left field, but an amazing defensive play by Teoscar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis connecting with Danny Jansen to get Cron out at home. A positive note to end on.
- Hernandez had probably his best game of the season so far. Making two outfield assists, including that final play, the left-fielder was 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. It looks like his work in the offseason and this spring on his fielding might start to pay off as his season gets rolling. One of the few players that will probably be here all season long, Hernandez can have a nice little season amidst a pile of mediocre somethings.
- Eric Sogard was 3-for-5 with two runs in his Blue Jays debut. Including a leadoff single to open the game and a massive at-bat at the top of the sixth that finished with a right field double bouncing off the wall and sending Danny Jansen from first to third. It took eight pitches to get there and Sogard made Gibson work for his out that he didn’t even get. He seemed tough to get off the plate for any opposing pitcher — a good sign for a week before the Jays bring up their best infielder in the organization?
- After Jansen singled, Sogard doubled and Grichuk drew a walk at the top of the sixth, Smoak came up big with the bases loaded and hit a two-run single to give the Jays a 2-1 lead. That play was able to knock Kyle Gibson out of the game for the Twins. Staying inside the big inning for the Jays, Tellez hit a one-run single to score in Grichuk and handed the Jays a two-run lead. Immediately after, Alen Hanson is even getting in on the RBI single action and hit on during the following at-bat. After relieving Gibson, Twins reliever Harper had given up two RBI singles in just his first six pitches. This seems to be a theme in this young season for the Jays, concentrating all their offensive power into one punch during a late inning.
- All that effort fell on deaf ears as Rosario hit a massive three-run home run at the bottom of the sixth off Sanchez to tie the game 4-4. The hit seemed like it was just going to carry forever and ever — a dinger if I have ever seen one.
- In the first, Montoyo successfully pulled a video review after Max Kepler was initially called safe at second after Teoscar Hernandez threw a laser to Alen Hanson. Luckily Hanson was able to get his hand tagged before he reached the bag and the new Blue Jays manager turned the call around. After going through some video review troubles last week, Montoyo seemed much more confident.
- Through the first two innings, Sanchez allowed two hits and one walk, with one strikeout. This was in a total of 32 pitches, 19 of those being strikes. He finished the game with six innings pitched, allowing four earned runs, four hits, and four walks, with five strikeouts.
- Jorge Polanco hit a third-inning solo home run to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. The red-hot Polanco was ahead of the count at 2-1 and Sanchez threw a 94.7 MPH four-seamer and the Twins batter was able to send it just over the fence. This was the first home run Sanchez has given up this season so far and luckily, Sanchez followed it up with a three-pitch strikeout to Eddie Rosario.