TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays played like a team that arrived home in the wee morning hours after a successful, intense 6-1 road trip against a pair of heated rivals, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
The Blue Jays returned home at 4:30 a.m. Friday and, less than 18 hours later, were licking their wounds after a 12-0 loss to the lowly Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels (53-73) snapped a six-game losing streak to win for just the second time in 11 games, while Toronto (68-56) lost for only the second time in nine outings.
“You flush it,” interim Toronto manager John Schneider said. “It’s one bad day in the last eight.”
To make matters worse right-fielder Teoscar Hernandez departed after two innings with a left foot contusion before 40,754 at Rogers Centre.
He fell to the ground in the batter’s box in the first inning after fouling a pitch off his foot. He injured the same foot at Yankee Stadium a week ago.
In the second inning, the Angels scored two runs on a double off the left-field fence from David Fletcher with the bases loaded. Shohei Ohtani then smacked a triple off the fence in left field to score another two runs.
Hernandez was in position to make the catch but stopped running. The ball landed 10 feet to his right.
“I think it was a misread by him,” Schneider said. “If he were really, really hurt, he would have come out.”
Hernandez did come out, but the Angels had built a 5-0 lead.
“We’re trying to be careful with him there,” Schneider said.
The Blue Jays did not take batting practice because of their late arrival. They also returned home with an overworked bullpen after two extra-inning games in Boston.
The only player who did not have a built-in excuse was starter Mitch White (1-4). He flew home early to get a good night’s rest.
But after the rocky second inning, he surrendered a two-run homer to Andrew Velazquez in the third inning.
“As soon as I get punched in the face there, it’s like ‘all right, it’s going to be a grind,’” White said. “You just have to be ready no matter what.
“Obviously, the game got out of hand, but at that point, it’s about protecting the bullpen and trying to keep the team in it.”
White lasted five innings and was responsible for seven runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Struggling Blue Jays lefty Yusei Kikuchi relieved White and struck out six in three innings. But he yielded a solo blast to left field from Jo Adell in the seventh inning and a two-run shot from Mike Trout in the eighth for his 27th.
Then infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield was called upon to throw the ninth. He gave up a two-run blast to Adell.
Toronto managed only four hits off Angels starter Reid Demers (5-4). He went 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking three Blue Jays.
Merrifield left the bases loaded in the sixth inning, grounding out to Velazquez. Santiago Espinal flew out to centre with the bases loaded in the eighth.
Schneider reported George Springer might return to centre field in “the next few days.”
Since his return from the disabled list, he has been the designated hitter. He has a 10-game hitting streak, going 18-for-36 (. 500) after a 1-for-4 outing on Friday.
When Danny Jansen smacked his 10th homer in the sixth inning at Fenway Park on Thursday, he and Alejandro Kirk (12 homers) became only the fourth catching duo in Blue Jays history to each belt 10-or-more homers in a season.
The others were: Buck Martinez (10) and Ernie Whitt (11) in 1982 and 1983 with 10 and 17 round-trippers, respectively. Bengie Molina (19) and Gregg Zaun (12) also accomplished the feat in 2006.
Alek Manoah (12-6) makes his 25th start for Toronto in 2022, taking on Ohtani (10-8) in the second outing of the three-game set.
The 1992 Blue Jays World Series championship team members will be honoured with a pre-game ceremony to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2022.
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