Addison Barger breaks through and collects his first big league hit in Blue Jays win over Royals

Photo credit:© Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
1 month ago
At the big league level, the first hit of your professional career can come in various forms. For rookie Addison Barger, his first big league knock took some time but eventually came through earlier this evening against the Kansas City Royals, as the Blue Jays drove in six runs for the first time in over three weeks to take the first game of the series against the Kansas City Royals.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Barger stepped into the batter’s box with Royals reliever Matt Sauer entering the game and taking over for southpaw Angel Zerpa. After battling to a 1-1 count, which included a big league cut from Barger on a four-seam fastball high and in, the Blue Jays left-handed batter waited back on an 83 MPH curveball and drove the offering on a line drive to centre field, collecting his first big league hit in his fourth game and 14th at-bat. Ernie Clement would have likely hit for Barger had Zerpa stayed on the mound to enter the sixth but a right-hander in Sauer kept Barger on the field, leading to the first hit.
The Washington product was hustling out of the box to try for second base but wisely turned back, staying at first while the Royals tossed the ball towards the Blue Jays dugout. The ball was hit on a laser, a 106.2 MPH offering that had the chance for extra bases if he pulled it a bit more to the right side.
The single proved to be an important knock, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled to the left-centre field and Barger was able to score from first base, giving the Blue Jays some insurance on the scoreboard in the form of that all-important sixth run. The Royals threatened in the ninth and without his run, the Jays likely would be in extra innings barring a ninth-inning rally to score one run. Barger started the contest on a rough note, with a fumble at third base and an errant throw to second giving the Royals a quick lead, however, the squad was able to bounce back on the back of a Justin Turner multi-home run game and a Danny Jansen blast.
For Barger, it had been a trying time as the top prospect was searching for his first big-league hit. He had gone hitless in his first three contests while striking out at least once in each game while searching for the milestone. Before this knock, he hadn’t been able to really put the barrel on the ball like fans have seen him do in triple-A, where he posted a .314/.435/.586 slash line with 10 doubles and a 1.021 OPS.
Looking ahead, Barger can finally exhale as he puts the milestone ball on his mantle and tries to help the Blue Jays continue their winning ways into tomorrow.

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