TORONTO -- Marco Estrada used the word "bittersweet'" to describe his outing on Tuesday night, despite making history in the Blue Jays' 4-2 loss to the D-backs.Multiple pitchers have had streaks of 10 straight starts, with the last one being the Cubs' Jake Arrieta from June 8-July 31, 2014, but
TORONTO -- Marco Estrada used the word "bittersweet'" to describe his outing on Tuesday night, despite making history in the Blue Jays' 4-2 loss to the D-backs.
Multiple pitchers have had streaks of 10 straight starts, with the last one being the Cubs' Jake Arrieta from June 8-July 31, 2014, but Estrada became the first pitcher since the mound moved to 60 feet, six inches in 1893 to hold an opponent to five hits or fewer, while pitching six-plus innings, in 11 straight. Unfortunately for Estrada and the Blue Jays, the 32-year-old was forced to depart after six innings and 88 pitches due to tightness in his back.
"There's been a lot of great pitchers in this game," Estrada said. "For something like that to happen, I'm obviously very excited and very happy for it, but it's kind of a bittersweet moment for it right now. We lost, so there's nothing really to cheer for."
Estrada initially aggravated his back swinging a bat in Interleague Play and has had trouble with similar pain in the past. The former Milwaukee Brewer missed the first month of Spring Training with back tightness and started the season on the 15-day DL. However, he does expect to make his next scheduled start on the road against the Rockies on Monday.
"The deeper the game got, the worse it got," Estrada said about the pain he felt on Tuesday. "I was trying to pitch through it. I felt really good out there, my arm felt good. I turned around a few times and saw the velocity, and it was just going down. I couldn't really reach down and get much on it."
Estrada held the D-backs to two hits, but he walked three and allowed a home run to Yasmany Tomas, picking up his first loss since April 27 against the White Sox. The loss also snapped a streak of six consecutive Blue Jays victories with Estrada on the mound.
"I left a few pitches up because of it," Estrada said. "I gave up a home run on a terrible changeup that I threw. That's what's going to happen when you make bad pitches."
While Estrada remained humble about his record-setting night, his teammates and manager were more than happy to chime in on the Long Beach State product's rare accomplishment.
"That's pretty incredible," centre fielder Kevin Pillar said. "It's unfortunate it came in a loss. We couldn't score him enough runs. If people didn't know what kind of [pitcher] Marco Estrada was -- the majority of the second half and in the postseason, they got to see what he was about last year. He's a big-game pitcher. We love our chances every time he steps out there."
"He does it every time he goes out there," manager John Gibbons added. "It's pretty impressive."
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.