The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Seattle Mariners 10-2 on Sunday afternoon. They were unable to build on the consistent results against Seattle and Boston early in the week, and scored early and often.
Manager John Gibbons was victimized by unexpected efforts from bench players Rajai Davis and Mark DeRosa, both of whom contributed on the offensive side well beyond expectation. Melky Carbera also threw off the team’s plans, homering for the first time this season. Gibbons was asked about the end of the four game losing streak in the post game scrum. He was subdued, as usual.
‘We were on a good roll there, the last four in a row, it looked like we were set to continue this run. It’s not easy to be this consistent, game after game. If you want to be known for your losses, you have to make it work out day after day. Today just wasn’t our day.’
The Jays, expected to contend before the season started, had swept away those expectations, and spun inconsistent starting pitching, poor defense, and an anemic offense into a team with its sights set clearly on a different kind of goal. Scoring only three runs in the first four days of May, the team looked focused on making a run at the historic consecutive loss mark.
Starting pitcher Brandon Morrow was asked about his 8 strong innings, and how they contributed to the team’s winning effort, “I had everything working pretty well, which was unusual, and as I tried to adjust to that, the Mariners racked up a lot of outs. I managed to really get messed up in the fifth, and I thought that the four walks would be enough to let them back in the game. It was pretty crazy, but then suddely there were three outs. You never know in this game, sometimes the balls find gloves no matter what you do. I tried to stay out there as long as possible, develop a pattern Seattle could exploit, but then the offense kicked in for us. You can’t control that, and you can’t obsess over an L or a W there.”
Mark DeRosa contributed to the broken streak, the 38-year-old had three hits, including a 3 run home run in the bottom of the 5th. ‘I thought I was pretty rusty. I thought I could give the team what it needed from the bench to keep this thing going. I feel like I let the guys down, even if I could have popped up one of those balls on the infield, maybe it would have turned out differently.’
Gibbons was asked what he had expected of DeRosa, playing him over Lawrie. ‘I know Mark is a veteran, I know he can get in there, take some hacks, maybe pound a couple balls into the dirt. He’s a couple of steps worse on defense right away, so you have to factor that in. That pitcher, though, Joe Saunders, you gotta tip your cap. He’s not just going to let you have a 1-2-3 inning. You’re going to have to earn it.’
Edwin Encarnacion put in the kind of effort that Gibbons was expecting, going 0 for 4 with a walk. Edwin still drove in a run with a groundout, however, so even he wasn’t able to have a clean contribution in the loss column. He showed his dedication by tripping over the pitchers mound trying to field the ball late in the game, but by then things were out of reach.
Gibbons final statement was about heading into Tropicana Field, where the Jays have racked up most of their road losses over the past five years, ‘You’ve got a lot of guys on this team who can make a sloppy play in the field, and then strike out with runners on the next inning. Our starting rotation is banged up a bit, and Buerhle hasn’t been able to locate well this year. With things shifted that way already, I think we can focus and get back to what we’ve been doing all season. These guys are professionals, they know that a bad team can still win 60, 70 games sometimes. We’re not gonna focus on that, we’re just gonna focus on getting this thing going in the same direction as it was for most of April and the first few days in May. I’m pretty sure we can leave Sunday behind us pretty quickly.’
The Blue Jays play Monday night at Tropican Field, 7:07 start time.