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Photo Credit: © Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark’s strong debut leads the Blue Jays to another win in Washington

After a couple of frustrating losses in Tampa Bay, the Blue Jays have bounced right back in Washington, completely shutting down the defending champs in back-to-back wins.

Things worth mentioning…

  • Tanner Roark made his Blue Jays debut in a familiar setting, going up against his former club as a visitor in Nationals Ballpark for the first time in his career. Though Roark wasn’t a sexy, big-name signing like Hyun Jin Ryu, there’s no doubt that adding him to the back of the rotation is a pretty significant upgrade on some of the guys (Clayton Richard, Edwin Jackson) that the Blue Jays trotted out last season. Roark tossed five innings of one-run balls, scattering three hits, walking none, and collecting five strikeouts. Having your fifth starter give you a chance to win like that is all you can ask for.
  • After Roark left the game, the Jays had four innings to navigate and a depleted bullpen. But, unlike on Saturday in Tampa Bay, the B squad that came out the ‘pen got the job done without any issue at all. Jacob Waguespack tossed two scoreless frames in his season debut, Wilmer Font tossed a clean inning, and A.J. Cole finished the game in the ninth.
  • Font was quietly excellent for the Blue Jays last season in a variety of different bullpen roles. Getting him back from injury/illness is huge for the team, especially with Ken Giles set to miss time with an elbow issue. Font came in and threw hard and pounded the zone last night, picking up right where he left off last year.

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  • Just like in the series-opener on Tuesday, the Jays got powered to a win via the longball. This time, it was Vladimir Guererro Jr. and Teorscar Hernandez hitting solo homers. After an ugly showing at the plate on Monday, seeing Vlad get the monkey off his back and hit a homer was a positive sign. It was his first bomb since Aug. 22 of last year. That’s a span of 32 games between homers.