Though they were (heavily) outshined by the Toronto Maple Leafs v. Boston Bruins saga, the Blue Jays quietly swept the Oakland Athletics this weekend, going 6-1 on their recent road trip and improving their record to 11-12.
With some excellent pitching and timely hits by unexpected hitters, the boys in blue cruised to their third series win of the year and their first sweep.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this weekend’s prosperous series at the Coliseum:
For the first time this season, Brandon Drury (4-for-12, 2 HR, 2 2B, 4 R) ends up in this portion of the series recap, finally showing some life at the dish after a dreadful start to his campaign. Fellow infielders Rowdy Tellez (4-for-7, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R), Justin Smoak (7-for-13, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R) and Danny Jansen (2-for-6, 2 RBI, 2 2B, 2 BB) were also productive in their own rights.
Of course, the real offensive surprise of the series was Eric Sogard, who, remarkably, went 3-for-10 with two RBI and a stolen base. Billy McKinney (5-for-11, RBI, 2 2B, 2 R) also showed up for the first time this season.
On the mound, Marcus Stroman (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 SO, 6 H, W) was fabulous, while Matt Shoemaker (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, SO) pitched well before injuring his left knee in a rundown in Sunday’s middle game.
Sam Gaviglio (4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 5 SO, 0 BB) was flawless in relief while his relief colleagues Joe Biagini (1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H) and Daniel Hudson (1.2 IP, H, 3 SO, 0 ER) turned in solid outings as well.
Though Aaron Sanchez was solid on the mound in the first handful of frames in Sunday’s ballgame, he left the game with what appeared to be a finger/blister injury. At this point, not much is known about the nature or severity of his injury, but skipper Charlie Montoyo is confident he won’t miss a start, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
Elvis Luciano (2.0 IP, ER, 2 BB) continued to scuffle in one of the season’s least pressure-filled moments, while Ryan Tepera (0.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB), fresh off the IL, was shelled in his second appearance of the season.
Elsewhere in the lineup, Socrates Brito (1-for-3, SO, R) is still ineffective offensively, as is Luke Maile (0-for-3, 3 SO).
In an amazingly coincidental development, former Blue Jay Kendrys Morales, who last season pitched against the Athletics, appeared as a pitcher against the Blue Jays on Saturday. This time, he allowed a single earned run, hitting a batter and walking two in a single frame.
The still Vlad-less Blue Jays head home to face off against Kevin Pillar and the San Francisco Giants in a brief two-game set beginning Tuesday. As of right now, Trent Thornton (0-2, 5.40 ERA, 21 SO) and Clay Buchholz (0-0, 3.38 ERA, 6 SO) are slated to toe the rubber against Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 2.91 ERA, 20 SO) and Drew Pomeranz (0-2, 4.82 ERA, 23 SO).
The Blue Jays, now with new obstacles ahead of them, will hope to string together another couple of wins against the 9-14 Giants, who currently sit in last place of the NL West, 5.5 games behind the division-leading Dodgers.