George Springer snaps hitless streak as Blue Jays finally beat Orioles with 4-1 win

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Stack
11 months ago
An attendance of 36,924 fans in the Rogers Centre had a chance to see a rare sight tonight: a win over the Baltimore Orioles. Despite being outhit 7-3 and going only 1-for-5 with RISP, Yusei Kikuchi pitched a gem to lead Toronto past Baltimore 4-1 and keep their chances of splitting the series alive.

Things worth mentioning

One time is a coincidence, two times is purposeful, and three times is flat-out evident – that’s the theory when it comes to Yusei Kikuchi pitching well this season for the Blue Jays. Kikuchi continued his outstanding 2023 campaign with six innings of one-run ball, lowering his ERA on the season to 3.67. The run he allowed was an odd one; with a runner on third and two outs in the 5th inning, Adley Rutschman grounded a ball between first and second. Both Brandon Belt and Whit Merrifield went to make a play on it, but Kikuchi did not cover the bag at first, allowing Rutschman to reach first and the run to score. Nonetheless, Kikuchi was exactly what Toronto needed tonight from their starter as he earned his seventh quality start of the season.
The Blue Jays held a lead for the first time in this series, and it came from a gracious and celebratory RBI single from George Springer. Springer hit a bloop single in the 4th inning that not only drove in a run, but also snapped a 0-for-35 slump at the plate. Springer and several of his teammates engaged in the sarcastic celebrations after the hit, but hopefully that will turn things around for Springer going forward.
The game entered the 6th inning at a 1-1 tie, but the Blue Jays scored three runs in the frame without recording a hit (as odd as that sounds). Belt, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Springer all walked with two outs to load the bases, with Vladdy’s walk coming after a nice 10-pitch AB. Newly acquired reliever Shintaro Fujinami, known for his command issues, was responsible for the Springer walk, but that was only the beginning of his erratic outing. Fujinami hit both Matt Chapman and Danny Jansen with pitches to drive in a pair of runs with both batters getting medical attention before taking their respective bases. Fortunately, everyone was OK, but it wasn’t the prettiest sight given how hard Fujinami throws.
Jorge Mateo muffed a Daulton Varsho groundout which allowed another run to score, and the Jays would carry that 4-1 lead the rest of the way.
Bullpen work from Yimi Garcia, Jordan Hicks, and Erik Swanson kept the Orioles scoreless throughout the final three innings of the game. The final out of the game came in bizarre fashion as Swanson picked off Jordan Westburg at first base.
What’s Next: Toronto will look to split the series tomorrow afternoon with Kevin Gausman facing his former team. Jack Flaherty, acquired yesterday by the Orioles, is scheduled to make his first start with his new team tomorrow. Flaherty pitched against Toronto earlier this season as a member of the Cardinals – he walked seven batters but kept them scoreless through five innings.



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