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Semien homer provides Blue Jays walk-off win in opener of uncommon, distinctive doubleheader


TORONTO – On the morning of April 16, 2018, a piece of ice fell from the CN Tower and punctured a gap a few metre broad by two metres lengthy within the skinny PVC sheeting that makes up the Rogers Centre roof. The influence was sturdy sufficient to journey alarms contained in the stadium and connected lodge. Smaller shards had induced harm elsewhere on the lid, too, inflicting some flooding within the constructing.

Fairly clearly, the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas Metropolis Royals recreation that evening needed to be postponed, resulting in a doubleheader the following day, swept by the house facet 11-3 and 5-4.

That was the final twinbill on the dome till Saturday, which opened with Marcus Semien hitting a walk-off homer on Matt Barnes’ first pitch to safe a 1-0 win over the Boston Pink Sox.

The homer was the all-star second baseman’s first profession game-ender.

“That was nice,” stated Robbie Ray, who threw six two-hit, two-walk innings with 5 strikeouts earlier than making means for nearer Jordan Romano within the ninth. “It was a pitcher’s duel right now, (Nick Pivetta) had an amazing recreation as properly and we had been simply in a position to come out on high on the finish. When Semien hit that first-pitch residence run, it was wonderful. All people was screaming and yelling. It was a enjoyable little expertise for positive.”

Jose Berrios begins in opposition to Tanner Houck within the nightcap seeking to prolong the Blue Jays’ present run of 5 straight wins and eight in 9 outings since returning north. At 59-49, they’re now only one loss again of the reeling 64-48 Pink Sox within the loss column.

“We’re form of clicking on all cylinders,” stated Ray. “That is one thing we talked about earlier within the yr, it appeared like after we had been pitching, the hitting was lagging behind, after we had been hitting rather well, we had been giving up runs. It seems like proper now that every little thing’s coming collectively. We’re pitching actually good. We’re hitting, guys are getting on base, we’re getting them over, getting them in. We’re doing the small issues. This actually enjoyable. And particularly to have the ability to do it right here in Toronto in entrance of the house crowd is nice.”

This one was distinctive for a number of causes, and never solely as a result of it’s the primary of the 4 doubleheaders ever at Rogers Centre to be break up on two separate tickets. The additional recreation is a make-up of a July 20 rainout in Buffalo, N.Y., and given the choice of sneaking in one other recreation onto their Toronto schedule, the Blue Jays instantly seized the chance.

Including to the weird circumstances is that the Pink Sox had been hit by some COVID-19 circumstances, with bench coach Will Venable testing optimistic and first-base coach Tom Goodwin in quarantine for publicity. Slugger J.D. Martinez was additionally positioned on the COVID-19 injured record, resulting in supervisor Alex Cora and several other others to masks up within the customer’s dugout.

“We’ve to watch out, proper?” stated Cora. “We’ve obtained to handle our group. As for now, we’ll do our greatest to put on masks within the dugout and clearly inside.”

The Pink Sox are believed to be beneath Main League Baseball’s 85 per cent vaccination threshold.

Each Ray and Pivetta starters carried no-hitters into the fifth inning and the primary actual risk got here from the Pink Sox within the sixth, when Bobby Dalbec opened the inning with a stroll and Jonathan Arauz, after failing to get a sacrifice bunt down, lined a single to left.

Ray recovered to strikeout Kike Hernandez earlier than Alex Verdugo hit right into a controversial fielder’s selection, as he beat the throw at first however missed the bag. The Blue Jays challenged and a crowd of 14,768 roared as they noticed the replay after which booed when he was dominated secure, presumably as a result of Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s foot slid again into the basepath altering Verdugo’s path.

Irrespective of, Ray promptly induced an inning-ending pop-up from Xander Bogaerts to flee the jam.

“I knew it wasn’t simply going to be a reduce and dry factor as a result of (Gurriel) missed the bag,” Ray stated of the Verdugo play. “It seems to be like he is out and it was taking a very long time for them to make the choice on it, so one thing simply did not appear proper to me. I simply tried to remain targeted via some additional warm-up pitches there to (Alejandro Kirk), form of get my focus again. Once they referred to as him secure, at that time I used to be already locked in and able to go.”

Pivetta, the Victoria native, was even stingier, permitting solely a Corey Dickerson single within the fifth and George Springer stroll within the sixth over his six innings of labor.

Jordan Romano pitched a clear seventh earlier than Semien closed issues out.


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