Aníbal Sánchez limited the Toronto Blue Jays to six hits in five innings of work on the mound tonight in Nationals Park, but four of the six hits off Washington’s veteran starter were home runs, each of them solo shots that provided all the offense the visiting team needed in what ended up a 4-1 win.
Sánchez vs the Jays: Aníbal Sánchez and the Nationals were behind 1-0 early tonight, after the veteran right-hander, making his 2020 debut, gave up a solo shot to right two pitches into tonight’s series opener with the Blue Jays.
Teoscar Hernández hit the 0-1 cutter over the out-of-town scoreboard for a leadoff blast and a 1-0 lead.
Sánchez worked around a ground-rule double later in the Jays’ first, and a two-out “triple” in the top of the second, on a fly to right that Adam Eaton lost in the afternoon sun, then a 1-2-3, 22-pitch third left him at 62 pitches total with the score still 1-0 Toronto.
Rowdy Tellez demolished a splitter that stayed up in the zone for a leadoff home run in the top of third, sending it into the second deck in right field to make it a 2-0 game in the Jays’ favor, and Danny Jansen connected on the third solo shot of the game with two down, 3-0.
We have no idea where this Rowdy BLAST landed pic.twitter.com/0SNxHhPTsv— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 27, 2020
It was 3-1 in the fifth when Hernández hit his second solo shot (and the Jays’ fourth) to put the visitors up 4-1, sending a 2-1 cutter out to right field.
Don't say it...— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 27, 2020
Don't say it...
Don't say it...
TWOscar Hernández pic.twitter.com/HVTWvvFvP6
Sánchez retired the next three in order in a 12-pitch frame which left him at 88 pitches overall on the night.
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 4 HRs, 88 P, 56 S, 2/4 GO/FO.
Thornton vs the Nats: Blue Jays’ righty Trent Thornton, a 26-year-old, 2015 5th Round pick by the Houston Astros, who was acquired by Toronto in a 2018 trade, made his MLB debut in 2019, going (6-9) in 32 games (29 of them starts), with a 4.84 ERA, 4.59 FIP, 61 walks, 149 Ks, and a .259/.328/.439 line against in 154 1⁄3 IP for Toronto.
Given a 1-0 lead to work with before he took the mound, Thornton tossed three scoreless on 51 pitches to start, working around five hits, and he came back out for the fourth with a 3-0 lead, courtesy of three solo shots by the Jays, and gave up back-to-back hits, a single to left by Eric Thames and a double by Kurt Suzuki, which brought Thames around, 3-1.
Kurt Suzuki doubles in Eric Thames and the Nats are on the board! pic.twitter.com/HHLBX6jhNT— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) July 27, 2020
Victor Robles followed with a single for the third straight hit, but he was doubled up on a line drive to third in the next at bat, on a 5-3 DP, and after a walk to Trea Turner, Thornton popped Adam Eaton up to end a 13-pitch frame at 74 pitches total. That was it for the Jays’ starter...
Trent Thornton’s Line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 74P, 48 S, 1/1 GO/FO.
Everyone Still In, For Now?: In spite of the disturbing news on the Marlins, who’ve had over a dozen people test positive for COVID-19, Davey Martinez told reporters before the first of four with the Blue Jays this week that no additional players for the Nats opted out of playing in the 2020 MLB season as of around 2:30 this afternoon.
“As far as I know, no, everybody’s showing up, but I had some concern about that as well,” the manager admitted.
“But everybody is here, so far. I’m sure we’re going to have to have some conversations here today, to see what’s next.”
BULLPEN ACTION: Old friend A.J. Cole, who made the Jays’ bullpen this Spring/Summer, got a chance to face his former team in the bottom of the fifth, working around an infield single for a scoreless, 18-pitch frame. Still 4-1 Jays.
Sam Freeman gave up a two-out walk in the top of the sixth, so Davey Martinez turned to Javy Guerra, who got the final out with one pitch.
Ryan Borucki retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Guerra came back out for the Nats in the top of the seventh, and retired the side in order in an eight-pitch frame. Still 4-1 Jays.
Trea Turner singled and Adam Eaton walked to chase Borucki, but righty Jordan Romano took over and got two outs to strand the Nationals’ runners.
Guerra worked another scoreless frame in the top of the eighth inning.
Jays’ righty Rafael Dolis walked Eric Thames with one out in the home-half of the inning, but Kurt Suzuki sent a one-hop liner to short to start an inning-ending double play, the fourth by Nationals’ hitters tonight.
Ryne Harper gave up a two-out single and walk in the top of the ninth, but he dropped a filthy 1-2 curve on Teoscar Hernández for a called strike three to get out of the jam.
Anthony Bass got the ninth for the Blue Jays and worked around a two-out Trea Turner hit to end it. Ughs.
Nationals now 1-3