TORONTO | The sticks yet so powerful of the Blue Jays resonate little at the start of the season, but it was not too serious against the Seattle Mariners yesterday. They only needed three points to add a 20th win to their record.
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In that 3-0 win at Rogers Centre, it was George Springer who played the heroes early in the game.
With the bases loaded late in the second inning, the 32-year-old veteran hit starter Logan Gilbert's offering over Adam Frazier, who was protecting second base.
This slap made after two withdrawals allowed Alejandro Kirk, Matt Chapman and Santiago Espinal to cross the plate in turn.
The open roof of the Rogers Center allowed glimpses of the CN Tower, but also let chilly drafts into the stadium.
Despite this, José Berrios' arm remained warm throughout.
In seven innings of work, the Jays starter was content to give up six hits and two walks, while having four strikeouts.
The victory thus went to his record, bringing it to 3-2. The right-hander put an end to a streak of two losses at the same time.
It was also the first time the Jays had back-to-back wins this month. The day before, they had the upper hand 6 to 2 over the Mariners.
Toro is back in force
Absent from the Mariners starting lineup yesterday, Quebecer Abraham Toro entered the game in the eighth inning.
After posting a sad 0 for 5 on Monday in the leadoff role, the 25-year-old Longueuillois has recovered well.
Toro hit a single on his first at bat, a ball that outfielder Raimel Tapia was unable to catch.
His shot pushed Mike Ford into second base and ended Berrios' great night.
The next three batters, however, could not do anything against David Phelps, who was called in relief.
The loss went to Gilbert (4-2), who, in seven innings, gave up three runs and six hits, as well as two walks.
Gilbert still passed nine opponents in the mitt in this setback.
Towards the scan
Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero junior remained rather wise, each scoring a hit.
The Jays (20-17) will look to complete the sweep tonight.
Kevin Gausman is expected to start for Toronto and Marco Gonzales for the Mariners (16-20).
This series against the Seattle Mariners was to mark the return of Robbie Ray to the Queen City, in his new uniform.
But the most recent winner of the Cy-Young Trophy in the American is nowhere to be found at the Rogers Center... because he did not make the trip to Toronto.
Without confirming his vaccination status to a Seattle Times reporter who asked him about it on Monday, Mariners manager Scott Servais said Ray would be in uniform later this week in Boston to face the Red Sox.
Before leaving New York for Toronto, Servais had confirmed that "a few players" from his team could not make the trip to Canada due to vaccination rules, without going into details.
So Ray seems to be one of those.
For the past few months, professional or amateur athletes wishing to come to the country must comply with the same rules as travelers: they must be adequately vaccinated against COVID-19.
Otherwise, they are quarantined for 14 days...which is not optimal for a baseball player staying in Canada for three days.
Reunions this summer
Among the other Mariners players who did not make the trip to Ontario is reliever Drew Steckenrider.
The reunion between Ray and the team with which he shone so well last summer (13-7, earned run average of 2.84) will therefore take place at the beginning of July, when the Blue Jays will spend a few days in Seattle, Washington.