Friday, April 15, 2016

Donaldson, Stroman power Blue Jays past NY

 Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki each homered while Marcus Stromantossed eight innings in the Blue Jays' 4-2 victory over the Yankees on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.
Toronto was struggling to generate any kind of offense against Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi until Donaldson came through with a deep three-run shot to straightaway center field in the fifth inning. One inning later, Tulowitzki added a solo shot as the Blue Jays took a two-run lead and didn't look back.
Stroman picked up his second victory in three starts despite a rough fourth inning that saw him allow a pair of runs on 34 pitches. Toronto had reliever Pat Venditte warming in the bullpen, but Toronto's No. 1 starter found a way to survive the inning and then cruised the rest of the way. He was charged with two runs on three hits and a pair of walks over eight innings.
"I found a better feel for my spinning pitches," Stroman said. "My curveball and slider were very, very good, and so was my sinker. I feel like when I'm locating my sinker, everything kind of plays off that pitch, and I think I was just down more in the zone today than I was last game, and the results really showed."
Eovaldi was the exact opposite. He faced little resistance early in the game, but the Blue Jays eventually began to chip away at the 26-year-old. Eovaldi was charged with all four runs on seven hits and a pair of walks while striking out eight. He has now allowed nine runs in 11 2/3 innings this season.
New York's three hits were tied for a season low, and the Yankees have now scored two runs in back-to-back games, and have scored two runs or fewer three times this season.
"[Stroman] is a guy that you've almost got to swing underneath the baseball, because it's got so much movement on it," Brett Gardner said. "He was on top of his game, he pitched well. I thought Evo pitched great, too, it's just Donaldson killed us with that big homer. Other than those couple of runs we got, we weren't able to get much going."
Donaldson does it again: Donaldson gave the Blue Jays' lineup some life when he went deep. Prior to that at-bat, Toronto had three hits and couldn't seem to figure out Eovaldi, but one swing quickly changed the direction of the game. According to Statcast™, Donaldson's fifth homer of the year was projected to travel 424 feet and left his bat at 111 mph. Donaldson has at least one hit in all of Toronto's 10 games this season.
"I feel like my bat is moving faster than it normally has in the past," Donaldson said. "That's either partially due to some things I was cleaning up from last year, and my body feels really good right now, mechanically I feel really sound. I trust myself and trust my eyes, and allow the game to come to me. When I do that, I tend to have some success."
Rare road 'L' for Nate: Eovaldi had won seven straight road starts dating back to July 26 and appeared to have fortune on his side again in the fourth inning, getting Tulowitzki to pop out on the first pitch and striking out Michael Saunders to strand runners at second and third. That luck ran out in the fifth as Donaldson tattooed a hanging splitter into the second deck in center field. Eovaldi did strike out eight in the effort, but paid for Toronto's two big blows.
"I felt like I threw the ball well," Eovaldi said. "I felt like I wasn't locating my fastball down and away, glove side, as well as I could. My offspeed, I felt real comfortable with that tonight. In those situations, one of them I left Donaldson the split up in the zone, and Tulo, a missed slider."
Tulo time: Tulowitzki's production with the bat has been almost non-existent this season, but he had an RBI single Wednesday night and he followed that up with another big at-bat the following day. In the sixth, Tulowitzki led off with a solo shot into the second deck of left field for his second home run of the year. According to Statcast™, this one was projected to travel 394 feet and left his bat at 109 mph. Prior to Thursday, Tulowitzki had four hits in 32 at-bats this season.
With a single in the fifth inning off of Eovaldi, Jose Bautista has reached base safely in all 10 games this season. Edwin Encarnacion has reached base vs. the Yankees in 26 consecutive games.
Yankees: Luis Severino has the ball as the Yankees return home on Friday, opening a three-game weekend series with the Mariners on Jackie Robinson Day. Severino took the loss in his season debut, allowing three runs in five innings to the Tigers, and he will be making his first career start against Seattle. Nathan Karns goes for the Mariners in the 7:05 p.m. ET start.
Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a four-game set at Fenway Park against the Red Sox on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Dickey took the loss after allowing seven runs -- six earned -- in five innings against the Red Sox last Saturday at Rogers Centre.

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