MIAMI -- Sean Reid-Foley's third Major League start was a vast improvement over his previous two, and it was more than good enough to notch the Blue Jays' rookie right-hander's first MLB career win.
Reid-Foley allowed only one run on four hits and registered 10 strikeouts in a seven-inning stint as the Blue Jays defeated Miami 6-1 Sunday afternoon to take the rubber game of this three-game Interleague series at Marlins Park. The Blue Jays have won three of their last four series and finished their six-game road trip, 2-4.
Reid-Foley was torched for eight runs in his last MLB start on Aug. 18 against the Yankees and lasted only 4 1/3 after also losing his MLB debut at Kansas City five days earlier. He was a much different pitcher Sunday against the Marlins.
"It's never easy when you make your first couple starts," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He was pretty good in Kansas city, then he went to Yankee Stadium, and that can bring a lot of guys to their knees when they're just starting out."
The only run that Reid-Foley allowed was a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth, but he pitched out of the jam by striking out JT Riddle to earn himself a couple more innings and his first win.
"Walking in a run, that was sick," the right-hander said after the game. "That's my second one so far in the bigs. After that I kind of just needed to figure out what I needed to do to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs."
Gibbons, who said he had someone warming up in the bullpen in the fifth, said he was genuinely impressed with the way Reid-Foley handled himself at that critical juncture of his outing.
"Didn't want the [6-0] lead to unravel, but also wanted him to work his way through it," Gibbons said of the fifth inning. "And that can only help him in the long run. That was really the first time they touched him up at all. He could have crumbled there, but he didn't."
Reid-Foley served notice in the first inning that he was primed to notch his first MLB win when he struck out the first three Marlins batters he faced. He mowed down seven more before exiting the game after seven innings and 101 pitches (69 strikes).
"He was fantastic,"Gibbons said. "He was popping the ball. That's the best we've seen it. ... I think he had a lot of confidence coming into today. He was picking at the knees, both sides of the plate, nice little breaking ball. He's got to feel good, what'd he have,10 strikeouts? That'll go a long way for him, seven innings."
On the other side of the field, it was the opposite kind of feeling for the Marlins' rookie starter. The Blue Jays quickly sent a message to Jeff Brigham that his Major League debut would be short-lived. Billy McKinney and Devon Travis greeted Brigham with back-to-back singles, and a sacrifice fly to right field by Kendrys Morales gave Toronto a 1-0 lead three batters into the game.
The Blue Jays added two more runs in the third on RBI sacrifice flyouts by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Aledmys Diaz to take a 3-0 lead, sending Brigham to an early exit after making 82 pitches over just three innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Teoscar Hernandez's three-run homer into the Marlins bullpen in left field extended the Blue Jays' lead to 6-0 in the fifth, which allowed Gibbons some leeway on sticking with Reid-Foley when he got into a jam in the bottom of the fifth.
It was Hernandez's 19th home run of the season, but first since Aug. 9 against Boston.
Luke Maile had a career-high three doubles in the game. The last Blue Jays catcher to double three times in a game was John Buck on July 20, 2010 at Kansas City.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Blue Jays second baseman Travis had a defensive gem in the bottom of the fourth inning. Travis made a diving snag of a line drive just to the right of the bag by the Marlins' Starlin Castro, then quickly threw from his knees to first baseman Morales to double up J.T. Realmuto for the third out.
HE SAID IT
"That's the guy we heard about. ... He's still a baby. He's still learning, but he needed that outing." -- Gibbons, on Reid-Foley's first Major League win
Gibbons announced after the win against the Marlins that Marcus Stroman will come off the disabled list on Monday to start at home against the Rays. Stroman, who is 4-8 with a 5.27 ERA this season, went on the 10-day DL with a blister on his right middle finger on Aug. 19. Gibbons does not know yet what the rest of the rotation for the Rays series will be. First pitch is set for 7:07 p.m. ET.