An average month of August marked by poor performances and a slide in the standings ended with a shutout victory for the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
The 7-0 victory over the Washington Nationals left the Blue Jays on a high note heading into Thursday’s bye, heading into a six-game road trip that begins in Colorado on Friday.
The first matchup against the Rockies marks the start of September baseball. Toronto will quickly know if they have what it takes to reach the playoffs.
“If we put everything together, I don’t think there’s a better team in major league baseball,” said Blue Jays starter Chris Bassitt (13-7), who shut out eight innings. . It’s simply a matter of putting everything in place at the right time. »
The Blue Jays went 14-13 in August and are now 73-61 this season. There are only 28 games left to play.
The good news for the Blue Jays is the easier schedule on the horizon.
The Toronto team will play a three-game series against the Rockies, the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals – three teams in last place in their section – before playing a four-game series against the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers are one of three teams the Blue Jays are chasing in the race for the American playoffs.
The Blue Jays started the day three and a half games behind the Rangers, Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners, who were tied for the top of the West Division and for the final two playoff spots. .
“We know our best baseball hasn’t been played consistently yet,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. I liked how the players competed during this series. They will have to give everything for the rest of the season.
Bassitt allowed just three hits and one walk. He struck out three batters.
Kirk touched home plate twice and had three of the Blue Jays’ 12 hits. Santiago Espinal drove in two runs and Davis Schneider scored two.
The manager of the Torontonians called the game “complete”.
“It started on the mound with Chris, who was fantastic,” Schneider said. We were good defensively and we hit some hits. It looks easy, but there were some good batting appearances up and down our batting order. We did everything well today. »
It was the 13e shutout victory for the Blue Jays this season. They improved their record to 28-15 in interleague play, the best in Major League Baseball.
Patrick Corbin (9-12) walked Schneider in the first inning, then a single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. They had a double steal, then scored on a Kirk double.
Kirk hit another double in the fourth, when the Blue Jays scored two more runs. He reached third base on an Ernie Clement single, then scored on an Espinal single. Cavan Biggio then allowed Clement to spin home with a sacrifice fly.
Corbin allowed six earned runs, 10 hits and one walk in five innings of work.
“Overall, it was just a tough day for all of us,” Corbin observed.
Jay Jackson caused the last three outs.
Bassitt leads the Majors with eight starts of at least six innings pitched without giving up a run this season. Roger Clemens set the team record in 1997, with nine games.