R.A. Dickey took the hill this afternoon looking to help the Jays bounce back after their seven game win streak was snapped yesterday afternoon. Following a celebration of the greatest moments in the first 40 years of Blue Jays Baseball, the Jays went to work on finishing off the first half on a winning note. Dickey got Kinsler to ground out to first base on the very first pitch of the game, and Dickey continued to work efficiently throughout the afternoon. Josh Thole got the offense going in the bottom of the second inning with a two out, two-run single. Kevin Pillar was three for five, and Troy Tulowitzki had two more hits in this afternoon’s contest. Josh Donaldson hammered a three-run homerun in the fourth inning, to extend the Jays lead to 5-0 at the time. Dickey threw seven strong innings, and gave up just one run on five hits. All nine starters had hits in the ball game this afternoon.
Top Play of the Game by WPA
With just his second and third RBIs of the year, Josh Thole was the hero this afternoon; he knocked a two out single into right field which scored Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Pillar and gave the Jays a 2-0 lead in the second inning (.176).
Bottom Play of the Game by WPA
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning, Darwin Barney was unable to break the game open when he struck out, lowering the Blue Jays’ chances of winning by 7.7 percentage points.
Donaldson Makes History
In his second at-bat of the afternoon, Josh Donaldson came to the plate with two outs and two runners on base. With an 0-1 count, he smashed a homerun to center field, and became just the sixth player in the history of the game to have 80 runs scored and 20+ homeruns before the All Star break. Lou Gehrig did it in 1936, and had 92 runs scored and 20 homeruns. Ted Williams accomplished the feat 10 years later, in 1946. Reggie Jackson had 37 homeruns and scored 84 runs at the All Star break. Frank Thomas, in the first of his back to back MVP seasons, scored 93 runs and had 32 homeruns before the break. Alex Rodriguez did it in 2000, with 84 runs scored and 24 homeruns. This short list now includes Josh Donaldson, who after today’s game had scored 80 runs and hit 23 homeruns.
Trend to Watch
Troy Tulowitzki might not be thrilled with the timing of the All Star Game and the resulting four days off this week. In his last 15 games, Tulowitzki has been red hot at the plate, hitting .305, with a .364 OBP, and slugging .576. He’s got 17 RBI and five home runs in that time as well.
The Jays will break for the All Star game after a great home stand, where they went 8-3. Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez, and Michael Saunders will travel to San Diego to represent the Blue Jays in the midsummer classic. Following the All Star Game, the Jays will head to Oakland to take on the A’s in a three game series.
Lead Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports