Blue Jays bats break out with 14-run explosion in win over Angels

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As he was getting ready to endure a two hour, 38-minute rain delay on Saturday evening, Charlie Montoyo vowed that as soon as a couple of his Blue Jays hitters started drilling baseballs, the rest would follow.

And once they started on Saturday night at Dunedin’s TD Ballpark, they wouldn’t stop.

The Jays exploded with a seven-run second inning on the way to a blowout 15-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels to snap an annoying four-game losing streak.

And the hits came from throughout what is projected to be one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball as the Jays improved to 4-5, and 1-2 at their latest regular-season home.

The Toronto side of the boxscore was a busy place for the first time in this young season.

There was Bo Bichette with a pair of doubles and a career-high five RBI as he extended his hitting streak to eight games.

There was Vlad Guerrero Jr. with a hit and a pair of walks for three RBI in his first three plate appearances. Assigned to the DH role, the revitalized Vlad has now reached base in all nine games this season.


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There was Randal Grichuk clearing the bases in the second for three more RBI tacked on to his team-high 11 in his first of two hits on the night.

And how about Josh Palacios in just his second career appearance in the big leagues? In the second inning, he had a hustling bunt single for his first big-league hit, and followed that with his first RBI single two innings later. Add a leadoff single in the six, another in the eighth and it was a phenomenal four-hit night for the outfielder who was called up after Teoscar Hernandez was placed on the COVID list.

By the time it was all done, the Jays had banged out 14 hits — the first double-digit output of the season in that category — and added to the quality at-bats with nine walks.

Such explosions of offence were always going to be the route for this Jays team to have success, but in the very early going, it hadn’t exactly been trending in that direction for a team pegged to be one of the most prolific in all of baseball.

In fact, the converted touchdown they put on the board in the second inning matched the Jays run total in the past three games combined — each of them losses.

“It’s normal stuff,” Montoyo said of the struggles that saw his team enter Saturday’s game hitting a collective .202. “Whenever a lineup struggles, people put more pressure on themselves and that’s what’s going on right now.

“Whenever we’re healthy and the lineup gets back together, we’re going to hit. I think everybody knows that. It’s coming. Hitting’s contagious. Whenever one guy gets hot the next guy will too.”


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The Jays will attempt to earn a series split with the Angels on Sunday afternoon, but that could be tricky business. More severe rain is expected in the Dunedin area, making the prospect iffy. And if it does clear, struggling Tanner Roark is scheduled to get the start.

There is nothing easy about this stretch for the displaced Jays, who on Saturday hit the midway point of a stretch of 16 games in 16 days. They have been besieged with injuries, and lately the loss of the team’s 2020 MVP Teoscar Hernandez for at least a week after the outfielder was placed in quarantine on the COVID list.

Montoyo said there wasn’t a hint of panic with his team.


Somewhat overshadowed by the supporting offence was a second consecutive excellent outing from Jays starter Steven Matz. The lefty went six innings as he improved to 2-0 and allowed five hits and three walks for one run while striking out four … It’s quite an early turnaround for Matz, who was a languishing 0-for-5 with the New York Mets in 2020 … The Jays managed all those runs without a single home run.


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