Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, a former No. 1 overall prospect, hasn’t had the greatest 2017 season. Coming into Sunday afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays, the 23-year-old was carrying a meager .677 OPS. He raised that in quite a hurry with three home runs, helping the Twins enjoy a 7-2 victory.
Buxton started the day off with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. He drilled a two-run home run in the fourth off of Joe Biagini, raising the Twins’ lead to 5-1. He tacked on a solo shot in the seventh off of Matt Dermody, making it a 6-2 game. In the ninth, Buxton hit number three off of Tim Mayza, pushing the lead to 7-2.
Buxton’s performance is the 11th three-homer game of the season. It’s the first by a Twins player in over two months! Eddie Rosario hit three round-trippers on June 13 against the Mariners.
Following Sunday’s action, Buxton is hitting .249/.311/.404 with 13 home runs, 37 RBI, 52 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases in 394 plate appearances.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.