Blue Jays fall; Borucki chased after rough 1st

August 19th, 2018

NEW YORK -- It was bound to happen at some point, but rookie had his first real dud as a member of the Blue Jays' starting rotation on Sunday afternoon.

Borucki allowed six runs and could not make it out of a 44-pitch first inning in a 10-2 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The 24-year-old surrendered all six runs before recording an out, on four hits and a pair of walks, and he was pulled after recording just two outs.

For Borucki, it was the first time in 10 career starts that he did not complete at least three innings, and the first time he allowed more than four earned runs. It also marked the first time a Blue Jays starter allowed six runs to the first six batters of a game since lefty Matthew Boyd allowed seven to the first seven batters against Boston on July 2, 2015.

"Just kind of sweep it under the rug and act like it didn't happen and go on to my next start," Borucki said. "[It's not] the last time I'm going to [struggle] a little bit, but yeah, I'm just going to try to go about it like I usually do, just act like it's just another day, act like I just pitched pretty well today and just go through my five-day routine and be ready to against Philly."

Borucki got himself into trouble by walking the first two batters of the game. and Didi Gregorius followed with a pair of RBI singles and Greg Bird delivered the big blow with a grand slam to right field. Borucki retired the next two batters, but he was taken out of the game with a pitch count of 44.

The poor outing came at an inopportune time for the Blue Jays, who did not have a starter complete five innings during the three-game series in New York. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons and bench coach DeMarlo Hale had to piece together 7 1/3 innings from their bullpen in the finale, and after Toronto made a pair of roster moves on Sunday morning to add two fresh arms, it's possible more moves are on the way before Monday's opener against Baltimore.

"Ryan had a tough one, but you know, that's not the worst thing in the world," Gibbons said. "As long as he's pitching, he could be a 10-year vet and that same thing happens to those guys. You just have to learn from it. It helps you figure out when things go good, what you're doing ... when things go bad, what's happening to you."


The early run support meant former Toronto lefty J.A. Happ was able to cruise to his 14th victory of the season. Happ struck out eight and surrendered a walk, seven hits and a pair of solo homers to and over 5 1/3 innings. The 35-year-old improved to 4-0 since joining the Yankees in a deal with Toronto for infielder and outfielder .


Blue Jays center fielder made a reckless decision in the top of the sixth inning by attempting to steal third base with two outs, and he heard all about it from his manager. Gibbons unloaded on Pillar in the dugout after he was caught stealing with a one-sided verbal exchange that lasted approximately 30 seconds. The Blue Jays were trailing, 6-2, at the time, and Gibbons clearly took exception to Pillar's tactics.

The frustrations continued to mount in the bottom of the sixth inning when Gibbons was tossed for arguing with first-base umpire Jansen Visconti. Bird reached base on a close call at first, and while the Blue Jays did not ask for a review on the play, it didn't stop Gibbons from running onto the field and having his say. It was the sixth time this season that Gibbons was ejected from a game.

"Well, that play is unacceptable in rookie ball," Gibbons said when asked about Pillar. "That play is unacceptable in high school ball. That shouldn't happen. It can't happen. You're down. He knows it. It's tough to criticize Kevin, because of the way he plays the game. He does everything right. He sacrifices his body and all of that. But every now and then, we lock up mentally, I guess. He knows that. That's part of it."

After the game, Pillar seemed to realize that he was in the wrong, and he accepted responsibility for the poor decision.

"That's what was said, and that's what should have happened," Pillar said. "Live and learn. Made the mistake before. I'm out there trying to make something happen when sometimes I've just got to allow things to happen. The way the game was going, it was rainy, it was wet out there, I was trying to do something that probably rarely ever happens, getting him to throw the ball away, try to score a cheap run, try to get us back in the game. But I've got to trust the guys behind me to drive me in, which they've been doing a good job of."


Catcher finished 1-for-3 at the plate, and he now has at least one hit in each of his first five career games. The only Blue Jays rookies to accomplish that feat are Jesse Barfield, and Aaron Hill.

Right-hander made his Major League debut by tossing a scoreless fifth inning. He became the 31st pitcher used by the Blue Jays this season, three away from the most in franchise history. Toronto used 34 pitchers during the 2012 campaign.


The Blue Jays will return home to open a three-game series against the Orioles when right-hander (6-9, 4.87 ERA) takes the mound on Monday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre. Estrada has experienced some difficulty keeping the ball in the park of late, allowing a pair of home runs in each of his past two starts. Baltimore will counter with right-hander (4-10, 4.71 ERA).