Bullpen can't hold for Stroman vs. Red Sox

Smoak's HR ties it in 9th; Boston answers vs. Giles in 10th

August 8th, 2018

TORONTO -- The roof at Rogers Centre sprung a leak on Tuesday night, and the same thing could be said about the Blue Jays' bullpen.
Right-hander allowed a three-run homer in the eighth, and two innings later, newly acquired served up two of his own during Toronto's 10-7 loss to the Red Sox. The late-innings collapse was enough to overshadow another strong night for and seven quality innings from right-hander .
A closed dome couldn't stop the water from pouring into a section of seats in the 500 level, and the back end of the Blue Jays' bullpen couldn't seem to stop the Red Sox. In the eighth, it was J.D. Martinez who turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead, and Mitch Moreland put the Sox back on top in the 10th with an emphatic blast to right.
"They were geared up for him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Giles. "He looked good out in Seattle, and he just has to keep pitching here. That's the way it goes sometimes. He's here for a reason. Everybody's not perfect all of the time. This is a great hitting park, and they can hit home runs."

Tepera was staked to a 3-1 lead in the eighth, but he loaded the bases, allowed one run to score on a fielder's choice and then watched Martinez hit one off the foul pole in left field for homer No. 34 on the year, best in the Majors. It was Tepera's second blown save over his last five innings and the start of Toronto's bullpen issues in the series opener.
The Blue Jays bounced back with one run in the eighth and another on 's solo shot in the ninth to force extra innings, but the positive momentum was short-lived. Giles struck out the first batter he faced and then allowed a triple to , a homer to Moreland and later a two-run shot by Giles retired just two of the seven batters he faced as he was charged with his third loss of the season.

The lack of quality innings from the bullpen has been an ongoing concern for the Blue Jays, who dealt several veteran relievers before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline and now require others to step up. Reliever took the loss on Sunday after allowing three runs in Seattle, and on Tuesday it was Tepera and Giles who became the fall guys.
"That lineup is unbelievable," Stroman said of the Red Sox. "You can't take a single pitch off from that lineup. There's no just get-me-over pitches; one through nine, you have to be on it. J.D. Martinez is unreal right now. He's the hottest hitter I think I've ever seen live. It's tough to navigate that lineup."
Travis finished the night with a pair of hits -- including a two-run homer -- and is hitting .316 (24-for-76) with two doubles, three triples, three home runs and 17 RBIs over his last 24 games. Since May 23, he is batting .292 (49-for-168) and has his seen average soar from .141 to .250 during the same span while joining Smoak as the club's top standouts on offense.

Stroman bounced back from one of his worst starts of the season to strike out four over seven innings. The 27-year-old recorded 16 of his 21 outs on the ground, allowed just two hits and three walks while throwing 53 of his 92 pitches for strikes. Stroman has picked up three quality starts in four outings and his ERA is down to 5.20, which matches his lowest total this season.
"I'm starting to feel good," Stroman said. "I've been putting in a lot of work. Regardless of results, my work ethic stays extremely consistent and I trust it. Every fifth day I go out there with the same mindset. When I'm going good, I'm getting a of ground-ball outs. My sinker and my cutter were pretty good today and Luke [Maile] had a great mix. I feel great, I'm starting back to being myself each and every day."

Stroman tried to return for the eighth but was pulled after a couple of warmup pitches because of a blister on his right middle finger. He has dealt with recurring blister issues dating back to last season, and though he had to leave a couple of games early because of the issue, it's never forced him to miss a start. Stroman expects that to be the case this time as well, and there appears to be little doubt he will make his next start.
"It's something that I've been dealing with all year, to be honest with you, I just haven't said anything," Stroman said. "I'm a competitor. It's not something I'm going to let deter me from making my next start. I'm going to do everything I can over the next four days I'll be back out there on Sunday, competing."
Giles has yet to allow a run and is 12-for-12 in save opportunities this season. Non-save chances have been a much different story, with 23 runs allowed in 21 1/3 innings.

Right-hander (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his first Major League start when the Blue Jays continue a three-game series against the Red Sox on Wednesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET. Hauschild was an emergency addition to the Blue Jays' roster before a recent four-game series in Seattle, and he responded with six scoreless innings in relief. That was enough to earn him at least one start as Hauschild is set for his sixth appearance in the Majors. Boston will counter with lefty (2-3, 3.74).