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Biggio homers twice in offensive outburst vs. O's

June 14, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Cavan Biggio started it, and he nearly finished it, too. The young Blue Jays outfielder needed 41 at-bats for his first big league home run. In Thursday’s 12-3 win over the Orioles, he needed just three to collect homers No. 2 and 3, igniting the Toronto offense for

BALTIMORE -- Cavan Biggio started it, and he nearly finished it, too.

The young Blue Jays outfielder needed 41 at-bats for his first big league home run. In Thursday’s 12-3 win over the Orioles, he needed just three to collect homers No. 2 and 3, igniting the Toronto offense for a season-high 12 runs in the process.

"Felt pretty good, honestly," Biggio said.

The flash of Biggio power -- solo shots in the second and seventh innings -- just about bookended all of the Blue Jays’ scoring. Just before the right fielder’s second long ball, Toronto sent 12 batters to the plate in the sixth, setting another season high in the process to the tune of seven runs in an inning.

Box score

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said after Wednesday’s 8-6 win that quality at-bats build upon each other -- when one spot in the order has a productive time in the batter’s box, it’s “contagious,” he said. That’s even more apparent after 17 hits on Thursday night.

“The more you hit the less pressure for the next guy and the next guy,” Montoyo reaffirmed after locking up the series win. “And that’s how it went the last two days.”

“Today you see guys not necessarily getting a hit that at-bat, but seeing a lot of pitches,” Biggio added. “And you see the guy after them benefiting from it, and I think that goes a long way and you are able to feed off each other.”

When it comes to Statcast plate discipline data, the Blue Jays fall above the league averages in both chase and whiff percentage as well as below league average in chase contact percentage. First-pitch swing percentage, too, is a hair above average.

Put simply, Toronto has been going after too many pitches, missing on the pitches it does go after, and in the eyes of Montoyo, not getting the quality at-bats needed to be competitive in ballgames.

A trip to the mid-Atlantic, however, offered a brief moment for change.

They are just better at-bats,” Montoyo said. “We are not chasing bad pitches and we are ahead of the count.”

If there were any fears as the Blue Jays spiraled further toward the Orioles in the standings in recent weeks, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s wins -- featuring a combined 20 runs -- helped quell those fears, at least when the young offense clicks like it did and like it believes it is capable of when operating at peak performance.

Peak performance Thursday looked like five Blue Jays orchestrating multi-hit nights, highlighted by catcher Danny Jansen’s first three-hit game, and closely followed by Vladimir Gurrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and the heart of the Toronto lineup, incited by Biggio.

The offense came together to secure its highest output over a two-game span this season to back Marcus Stroman’s strong six-inning, two-run (one earned) outing. Stroman has long downplayed the lack of run support in his outings -- reflected in his 3-8 record entering Thursday despite a 3.31 ERA -- saying the runs will come and all he can control is how many his opposition scores.

“I’ve been talking about all year that our guys will turn it around at some point. It’s a long year,” Stroman said. “We are starting to swing the bats better now that a lot of young guys are starting to get settled in. We could do pretty special things with this lineup.”

His words were manifested Thursday night.