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Stroman on start: 'Just wash it and move on'

Recent struggles by rotation to get past the fifth inning continue
@gregorMLB
May 7, 2019

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays’ biggest strength in April has, at least temporarily, turned into their biggest liability. Right-hander Marcus Stroman allowed six runs over 4 2/3 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Twins on Monday night at Rogers Centre. It was the fifth time over the previous eight

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays’ biggest strength in April has, at least temporarily, turned into their biggest liability.

Right-hander Marcus Stroman allowed six runs over 4 2/3 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Twins on Monday night at Rogers Centre. It was the fifth time over the previous eight games that a Blue Jays starter could not complete five innings and it meant an even heavier workload for an exhausted bullpen.

Dating back to the start of Toronto’s recent six-game road trip on April 30, Blue Jays starters have gone 0-5 with an 8.90 ERA. The numbers would look even uglier if not for seven scoreless innings from Trent Thornton during his no-decision vs. Texas on Friday, and the lack of quality work from the rotation is the main reason why the Blue Jays have dropped six of their last seven games.

Box score

“Just wash it and move on,” said Stroman, who allowed more than one home run for the first time in 34 starts. “My arm and body feel great. It’s one of those things where every one of my spinning pitches was up in the zone, just kind of spinning. I had no grip at the end of my delivery there. Like I said, just wash it and focus on the next one. I’m not really worried about it.”

Stroman’s production has dipped at the same time as his fellow starters. In his last start vs. the Angels, the native of New York could not find a way to get out of the fourth inning. He allowed five runs, four earned, while requiring 91 pitches to get just 10 outs. It was a similar story in the series opener vs. Minnesota, except this time he could not get out of the fifth.

The issues for Stroman started right out of the gate. He allowed one run in the first, two more in the second, two in the fourth and one more in the fifth before manager Charlie Montoyo was forced to go to his bullpen. The big blows came on a two-run homer by Jason Castro, a solo homer by Eddie Rosario and an RBI double by Byron Buxton.

Toronto’s defense didn’t exactly do Stroman any favors in this one either. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was charged with his second error of the season and the normally steady hands of shortstop Freddy Galvis committed one as well. That led to one unearned run. The Blue Jays have made eight errors over their last seven games.

“I think it’s tough luck that it’s happening at the same time,” Montoyo said when asked if Guerrero’s struggles at the plate were being carried over into the field. “He’s not that type of kid. He’s making errors because he’s a prospect and needs to get better playing third. It’s not because he’s taking his at-bats into the field. I know that for sure. He’s a pro when it comes to that.”

The Blue Jays’ offense wasn’t able to get much of anything going off Twins starter Martin Perez, who tossed seven scoreless innings. Perez scattered just two hits and two walks while striking out nine. Toronto went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.

The lack of run support has been an ongoing concern for Stroman this season as the 28-year-old has received just eight runs over 45 2/3 innings this season, which is second lowest in the American League.

The frustration spilled into the dugout as well with Montoyo getting ejected for the first time this season for arguing the strike zone of home plate umpire Adam Hamari in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“The moment I go out there, I know I’m getting thrown out,” Montoyo said. “You don’t argue balls and strikes. From experience, when teams are losing, or having a tough time, [they] are usually the ones who complain the most. Right or wrong, any time you complain about balls and strikes, you’re going to get thrown out. I thought there were some tough pitches on [Brandon] Drury, so I went out there.”

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook.