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Stroman struggles in first start since Deadline

Ace gives up season high in hits; Martin moves up franchise record board with HR
August 1, 2018

OAKLAND -- Marcus Stroman survived the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but the same couldn't really be said about his outing against the A's the day after.Stroman surrendered seven runs on a season-high 11 hits in the Blue Jays' 8-3 loss to Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. The 27-year-old walked one

OAKLAND -- Marcus Stroman survived the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but the same couldn't really be said about his outing against the A's the day after.
Stroman surrendered seven runs on a season-high 11 hits in the Blue Jays' 8-3 loss to Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. The 27-year-old walked one and struck out six as Toronto was outscored 24-6 in a three-game sweep by the A's.
The series in Oakland was particularly hard on the Blue Jays' clubhouse and some of those difficulties extended beyond the scoreboard. Toronto made a series of moves before the Deadline with veteran players moved for prospects, a 40-minute closed-door meeting following a lopsided loss in the opener and a record that sits at 2-7 over the last nine games.
"I felt like every ball put in play was a hit," said Stroman, whose ERA jumped to 5.63. "It was one of those you just have to kind of flush and move onto the next one. I feel like any other day, those balls could be hit at people. Just kind of part of it. They did a great job of putting the ball in play. Early in the count, late in the count, and like I said, I felt like everything they hit found a hole. It's frustrating. My stuff felt great."

Stroman has two years of arbitration remaining on his contract, and while he was immune to the trades, he wasn't immune to the rumors. According to an earlier report from's Jon Morosi, the Braves and Blue Jays had at least exploratory talks about the product of Duke University but clearly never found enough common ground to make a move.
The Blue Jays could renew trade talks during the offseason, but it's clear that Stroman has been keeping tabs on the speculation. He "liked" a tweet from Morosi that linked to the report, which generated a little bit of a stir on Twitter, but nothing trade-wise emerged from the situation. How long that will remain to be the case for an organization that clearly has decided to rebuild remains to be seen, but Stroman seems confident that he's not going anywhere.
"Those are just rumors," Stroman said. "I don't believe anything. I never believed I was going anywhere. I love this city. I love playing for this team. I love everything about Canada. I love being a Blue Jay, and like I said, those are just rumors. There are no facts behind any of those."
Prior to Wednesday's outing, Stroman had been on a bit of a roll. He'd allowed three earned runs or fewer in four consecutive starts and had a 2.98 ERA since coming off the disabled list on June 23 following a right shoulder injury. It wasn't nearly as easy against Oakland as the A's scattered the ball all over the field. Oakland scored two in the second inning, two more in the fourth and then put the game out of reach with a three-run sixth.
The 11 hits were the most Stroman has surrendered in a start since Aug. 6, 2017, at Houston. The seven earned runs also were a season high and the most he's surrendered since June 22, 2017, at Texas. Jonathan Lucroy led the way for Oakland with a 3-for-4 performance, which included a pair of RBI singles and an RBI double.
"I actually thought [Stroman] was all right. They hit him, and they found every hole," Gibbons said. "They got some clutch hits. "
Toronto's lineup remained cold and could not generate much of anything off an A's starting pitcher for the third consecutive game. Sean Manaea gave up just one run in six-plus innings for Oakland, allowing five hits and a pair of walks. The Blue Jays managed to score a few runs late off the bullpen, including Russell Martin's two-run homer in the eighth inning for his ninth of the season. Randal Grichuk and Yangervis Solarte also finished with multi-hit games.

"We didn't do a real good job hitting the ball the other way, making things happen," Gibbons said. "But all three days, we didn't really get much shutdown pitching at all other than a couple of bullpen guys. We haven't been scoring a ton either. Move onto the next city."
The Blue Jays were swept by Oakland across an entire season series for the first time in franchise history. Toronto went 0-7 vs. the A's this season and were outscored 51-18. On the year, Toronto was swept in a series for the fifth time, which matches the club's mark in 2017.
Martin's two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning was the 63rd home run in his career as a Toronto catcher. That tied J.P. Arencibia for the second most in franchise history. Ernie Whitt is the all-time leader for the Blue Jays with 127.

"It's tough, just because the team is changing, and the guys that were in this clubhouse over the last few years for those postseason runs are starting to fade away. But it's part of the business. It is what it is. We have to do our job every day to show up, compete, go out there and get wins. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us, and hopefully, we turn this around and start putting wins together." -- Stroman, on the difficult week leading up to the Deadline
Justin Smoak will try to kickstart the Blue Jays' offense as the club travels to Seattle on Thursday for the start of a four-game series against the Mariners with first pitch scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET. Seattle will send Felix Hernandez (8-9, 5.58 ERA) to the mound in the opener. Safeco Field will be the final stop on a 10-game, three-city road trip for the Blue Jays through Chicago, Oakland and Seattle.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.