J.A. Happ injured as Orioles pound Blue Jays 11-4
Toronto Blue Jays centre-fielder Kevin Pillar just misses catching a fly ball off the bat of Baltimore Orioles J.J. Hardy in the fifth inning of their AL baseball game in Toronto on Sunday, April 16, 2017. Hardy wound up with a double on the play. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill
Nick Patch, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, April 16, 2017 4:56PM EDT
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays lost yet another game and yet another player to injury Sunday, as starter J.A. Happ was forced to leave in the fifth inning before the Baltimore Orioles slugged their way to an 11-4 win.
It's another discouraging blow for the Blue Jays (2-10), whose awful April represents the worst start in franchise history. The team later announced that Happ (0-3) -- who tied the team record for left-handers with 20 wins in 2016 -- left the game with left elbow soreness, with no word on the severity of the injury.
The Jays delivered more bad news prior to the game, announcing that Aaron Sanchez would be placed on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger, while Josh Donaldson missed his third straight game with a calf strain that has him sidelined indefinitely and put on the disabled list.
He's sorely missed in Toronto's listless lineup, which looked feeble again Sunday as Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (2-1) struck out six over six shutout innings in front of 38,188 increasingly dispirited fans at the Rogers Centre. Trey Mancini clubbed a three-run homer during a five-run sixth inning and added a solo shot during a five-run eighth for the Orioles (8-3), who took three of four this weekend.
The Orioles did all their damage after Happ left the game in the fifth. With the game scoreless and J.J. Hardy standing on second after driving a ground-rule double past a sprawling Kevin Pillar, Happ threw one pitch to Adam Jones before heading to the clubhouse.
Facing incoming reliever Joe Biagini, Jones then singled to right and appeared to get snared in a run-down after turning toward second too enthusiastically. But while the Blue Jays infielders ran Jones down for the out, Hardy sprinted home from third and snuck under Russell Martin's tag to put Baltimore ahead.
An inning later, the Orioles took flight. With Ryan Tepera on the mound for the Jays, Mark Trumbo singled and Chris Davis walked before Mancini drove a sinker into the seats in left. Hardy would add an RBI double before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Craig Gentry to give the Orioles a 6-0 lead.
With Bundy out of the game, the Blue Jays briefly threatened to rally in the seventh. Troy Tulowitzki and Martin led off with singles (Martin's hit, only his third of the season, was powered off the top of the opposite-field wall) before Chris Coghlan scored Tulowitzki with a sacrifice fly. A two-out Ryan Goins double then brought Pillar up with two runners on. Orioles reliever Stefan Crichton struck him out with a slider off the plate.
An inning later, Mancini added a solo shot while Gentry and Manny Machado smacked two-run homers off newly called up Jays reliever Matt Dermody, now the owner of an unfortunate 135.0 ERA, to give the Orioles a 10-run lead.
Even after Tulowitzki hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth and Pillar drove a two-run homer to centre in the ninth (his first this year), Toronto finished the game with a major league-worst 34 runs scored on the season.
It was the second sterling performance from Bundy against Toronto this year.
Once a top prospect, Bundy returned to the major leagues last year after spending years recovering from Tommy John surgery. Known for a slider that vexed Jays hitters all afternoon, Bundy was even more dominant than he was in his first matchup against Toronto, which Baltimore won 3-1.
Notes: Sanchez is eligible to return from the DL on April 25, when Toronto opens a three-game series in St. Louis. ΓÇª Devon Travis was given a second consecutive day off for rest.