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Biggio's pair of HRs highlight rough Toronto loss

@baseballexis
June 18, 2019

TORONTO -- Nothing has gone right for Edwin Jackson since he joined the Blue Jays in May. The 35-year-old right-hander’s appearances for Toronto this season have felt a lot like Groundhog Day, with Jackson living the same game -- and result -- outing after outing on the mound. • Box

TORONTO -- Nothing has gone right for Edwin Jackson since he joined the Blue Jays in May.

The 35-year-old right-hander’s appearances for Toronto this season have felt a lot like Groundhog Day, with Jackson living the same game -- and result -- outing after outing on the mound.

Box score

In Monday’s version -- a 10-5 series-opening loss to the Angels at Rogers Centre -- Jackson entered the game in the second inning after Derek Law opened for him for a second straight time. On his first pitch, Jackson allowed a home run to Justin Upton in the outfielder’s season debut. Two pitches later, the 35-year-old veteran right-hander gave up a homer to Kole Calhoun.

“It’s point blank. Execution’s been terrible,” Jackson said. “I know I’m better than that. I know that’s not who I am, but that’s what I’ve shown so far since I’ve been here.”

All told, in that second frame Jackson allowed seven runs on six hits -- three of them home runs -- with two walks, recording only two outs before Toronto handed the ball over to the bullpen. The 17-year big leaguer has allowed at least six runs in five of his seven appearances this year and has given up at least one home run in each of his outings.

“It’s black and white,” Jackson said. “There’s no grey area. Either you quit and you fold, or you continue to throw and get stronger. … It’s more frustrating to go out and have to kill the bullpen, more so than for myself.

“They did a great job coming in today, having to clean up my mess. But what I’ve been doing is unacceptable in my eyes. I feel like I’m my own worst critic, so there’s no one who can be harder on myself than I already am. I expect way more than I’ve shown since I’ve been here.”

Jackson’s line overshadowed a stellar night at the plate for Cavan Biggio, who has been a highlight reel personified for the Blue Jays of late. On Monday, the 24-year-old rookie opened the scoring with a home run in the first and followed with his second long ball of the matchup in the eighth. He also walked twice.

While Biggio has been seeing the ball well, hitting it hard and making good contact since the moment he was called up to the Majors, his efforts are finally starting to produce the results the team always felt they would.

“From Day 1 since he got here, he’s been having great at-bats,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “His average wasn’t showing [it] but that’s why we moved him up to the leadoff spot and into the top of the lineup, because we were seeing that.

“His numbers didn’t show, but his at-bats were outstanding and now he’s getting hits and home runs and everything. He’s doing great. I’m really happy for him. Great approach at the plate, good eye.”

In his last five games, the young slugger has gone 8-for-19 with four home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs. Biggio joined J.P. Arencibia as the only hitters in franchise history with two multi-homer games in their first 19 career games. With 14 walks after Monday’s game, Biggio has now set a new mark for any Toronto batter over the same span.

“At the end of the last homestand, I saw myself not putting any hits on the board,” Biggio said. “And I was getting on base, I was doing my thing, but I got caught up in the results. And going into the road trip in Baltimore and Houston, I was just not caring about whatever happens, happens, just go up there and have a quality at-bat and let the results take care of themselves. That’s what I’ve been doing the past week or so.”

Biggio’s day at the plate -- along with a seventh-inning homer for Randal Grichuk, his 13th -- wasn’t lost on Jackson, who was disappointed in every aspect of his outing and how it affected his teammates but believes he can still return to form.

“I haven’t lost any confidence, regardless of how terrible it’s been,” Jackson said. “But I know I’m better than that. At the end of the day, I know what I’m able to do, I know what I’m capable of doing, I know what I haven’t been showing.

“Cavan goes out, he hit a home run to give us the lead, and I come in and pretty much single-handedly kill the team. It’s not very fun.”

To add concern to a tough night for the club, in the third inning, on a long fly ball off the bat of Justin Bour, center fielder Teoscar Hernández raced to the wall and crashed hard into the outfield fence -- the scoreboard section where there is no padding. He remained in the game until the top of the seventh, when he was removed with a left wrist sprain. X-rays were negative.

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.