Another day, another win for the Blue Jays. Thanks to a dramatic go-ahead two-run homer by Jose Bautista in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 4-2 this afternoon for their 10th consecutive win.
The Blue Jays had a 2-1 lead going into the top of the eighth inning behind another solid performance from Chien-Ming Wang, but Darren Oliver coughed it up on a game-tying solo homer by Taylor Teagarden. However, Bautista took Darren O’Day deep with two outs in the bottom of the frame to put Toronto in front. It was sweet revenge for Bautista, as the two exchanged words after O’Day struck out him out last night.
As you can see in the picture to the right and the video below, Bautista had a message for O’Day on the way to home plate:
While the Blue Jays were 10 games under .500 as recently as June 4, they now sit at 37-36 on the year. Amazingly, all five teams in the American League East are currently over .500. This is going to be a fun summer.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.