The 2021 Blue Jays continue to battle injuries amidst a tough stretch in the schedule, they completed the stretch and currently hold a 7-9 record on the year. The Blue Jays are currently tied for third in the American League East division with the Baltimore Orioles, three games back of the first-place Boston Red Sox, a team Toronto will take on at Fenway Park for two games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
2021 Blue Jays: Lost in Kansas City
The 2021 Blue Jays flew into Kansas City with an even record of 6-6 on the season, with hopes and expectations to climb above .500 since the opening week of the season. The Blue Jays however, ran into some trouble and a surging Kansas City Royals team. The series did not start how the Blue Jays would hoped however the Blue Jays showcased their never say never mentality in a strong comeback during game one of four against the Royals.
Game 1: Blue Jays Bats Non Existent
The Toronto Blue Jays had right-handed pitcher Anthony Kay on the mound to start game one and it is likely a start he would like to forget, along with the rest of the team. The Blue Jays bats were non existent for the first 5 innings of the game while the Kansas City Royals scored runs in three out of the first four innings, giving themselves a 7-run advantage heading into the 6th inning.
The Blue Jays would mount a comeback propelled by a four-run sixth inning, putting the pressure on the Royals heading into the final stretch of the game. Toronto would continue to push as Vladimir Guerrero Jr, launched a long homerun into the seats making it a two-run deficit for Toronto, unfortunately, this would be as close as they would come and the Kansas City Royals hold on for a 7-5 victory in game one.
Game 2: Steven Matz Nearly Perfect
Originally meant to be played on Friday night, however, due to weather the second game of the series was postponed until Saturday setting up a doubleheader with seven-inning ball games. The Blue Jays sent left-handed pitcher Steven Matz to the mound and he did all that he could to help the Blue Jays even the series against Kansas City. Steven Matz went six innings in his third start of the 2021 season, he allowed only two hits and one run with five strikeouts while pitching five perfect innings, nearly going the complete game.
The Blue Jays bats would come alive in the first inning scoring two runs to get ahead of the Kansas City Royals. Toronto would add insurance scoring a run in each of the final three innings of the game on route to a 5-1 victory. Steven Matz earns his third victory of the season and remians undefeated in 2021 and with the Blue Jays.
Game 3: A Battle to the End
The second game of the Saturday doubleheader and the third game of the series was an exciting game that went down to the wire. Blue Jays sent right-handed pitcher Tommy Milone to the mound in what would be a pitch-by-committee approach for Toronto. Tommy Milone looked in his first two innings of work, keeping the Royals off the scoreboard while the Blue Jays hitters gave him a 1-0 lead heading into the third inning. Unfortunately, that is where Tommy Milone’s day would come to an end giving up two runs to Kansas City and relinquishing the lead.
The 2021 Blue Jays have a no-quit attitude as they would tie the game in the fourth inning, setting up an exciting finish, if you’re a Kansas City Royals fan. The game would remain tied into the seventh and final inning, queue up a Salvador Perez walk-off homerun giving Kansas City the win and a 2-1 series lead with one game remaining.
Game 4: Shutout, Out of Gas
The final game of the series was on Sunday afternoon and Robbie Ray was on the mound to start for Toronto. The Kansas City Royals could have made this game much worse looking on the scoreboard as Robbie Ray worked out of runners in scoring position, the following inning he had the bases loaded and was able to get out of it as well. Robbie Ray struggled with his control as he issued six walks in five innings of work, the Royals left 10 runners in scoring position allowing Toronto to hang around with a chance to even the series.
The seventh inning with TJ Zeuch on the mound for the Blue Jays the Kansas City Royals would take the lead with another Salvador Perez homerun, evidently it would be the game winning run as the Blue Jays were unable to mount any offense, only recording two hits in the ball game and taking a 2-0 loss and a series loss to the Kansas City Royals.
2021 Blue Jays: Headed to Fenway
The Toronto Blue Jays will head to Fenway Park as they take on the Boston Red Sox in a mini two game series with the first place team in the American League East Division. The Toronto Blue Jays will have ace Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound for the first game of two against Boston.
In three starts this season Hyun-Jin Ryu is 1-1 with an outstanding 1.89 ERA and has 19 strikeouts. The 2020 Warren Spahn Award winner has been consistent and reliable on the mound every time he’s called upon. The Boston Red Sox will send undefeated left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound making game one of the series a lefty versus lefty matchup. First pitch of this game is scheduled for 7:10 PM Eastern Time at Fenway Park.
Game two will be on Wednesday evening, the Blue Jays have yet to announce a starting pitcher for the second game as they continue to await players returning from the injured list to see who is available. The Boston Red Sox will send right-handed pitcher Garrett Richards to the mound against the Blue Jays. Toronto could climb back to .500 on the season with two wins in Boston, it would also erase the three game lead the Red Sox hold over the third place Blue Jays leaving the 2021 Blue Jays only one game back of first.
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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images