Blue Jays' bats find familiar form in 8th inning

April 14th, 2016

TORONTO -- Struggling to score early in the season, the Blue Jays' offense came alive in Wednesday's 7-2 win over the Yankees.

After having baseball's best offense last season, the Blue Jays entered Wednesday's game averaging just 3.88 runs per contest. Toronto seemed headed for another low-scoring affair, clinging to a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.

The Blue Jays proceeded to put together five hits, and scored four runs in the inning to officially put the game away. It marked the first time all season that the Blue Jays' offense combined for 10 hits, and was just the second time they scored more than five runs.

"We haven't really had an inning like that all season," said second baseman Ryan Goins, who finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. "Everybody was throwing together a quality at-bat, and it's kind of what this lineup does. We have 11-12 professional hitters. These guys don't give in, they don't give at-bats away, they just try to grind it out and get a pitcher's pitch count up, get into the bullpen and go from there."

Along with Goins, Toronto got strong performances from a few of its struggling hitters to aid its pitching staff. Outfielder Michael Saunders and Jose Bautista each had a pair of base knocks, and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki recorded his first hit in three games with an RBI single in the eighth.

"It's always nice to get a little more cushion there, we knew it was only a matter of time," said J.A. Happ, Wednesday's winning pitcher. "Guys kept going through, kept getting base hits, not trying to do too much, and that's fun to watch."

Prior to Wednesday, Toronto's offense had particularly struggled late in games, scoring just three times in innings 7-9 all season. Toronto batters also pounded out six doubles against Yankees pitching on the evening, after entering Wednesday's contest with just five on the season.

Despite the poor underlying team numbers, Goins believes the Blue Jays have the firepower to strike at any time, and expects it to happen quite frequently going forward.

"We don't doubt ourselves," he said. "We know we can have that kind of inning at any moment, and it was just a matter of time until we barreled a couple of balls up and found some holes.

"We've hit some balls hard, we've hit some balls right at people, and that's just kind of how it goes.We're eight games into the season, and people around us, not these 25 guys in here, have panicked a bit. I don't think anyone in this locker room has panicked at all. We're a great lineup and we know we're going to score runs."