Sun, 24 Jan 2021

Blue Jays look to sweep Marlins in first home series

Field Level Media
12 Aug 2020, 18:55 GMT+10

The Toronto Blue Jays have a chance to sweep their two-game set against the visiting Miami Marlins Wednesday night in Buffalo, N.Y., their new home away from home.

The Blue Jays, displaced from Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic, won the first game 5-4 in 10 innings Tuesday night, in their official home opener.

It was only the third win in the past nine games for the Blue Jays.

The victory also ended a string of eight straight losses by the Blue Jays in home openers.

It was the first official major league baseball game played in Buffalo since Sept. 8, 1915, when the Buffalo Blues swept a Federal League doubleheader from the Baltimore Terrapins.

The Blue Jays are 1-2 in extra innings after the walkoff win.

The Marlins have lost their past three games.

The Blue Jays played their previous 13 games on the road as Sahlen Field in Buffalo, where the Triple-A Bisons normally play, was being upgraded with new lights, a newly sodded infield and other adjustments that include a distinctive Blue Jays look in the clubhouse to create a home feeling.

"They did a great job," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday. "It feels like a big-league park."

Right-hander Jordan Yamamoto (0-0, 9.00 ERA) will start for Miami against Toronto right-hander Nate Pearson (0-0, 2.70) on Wednesday.

Neither pitcher has faced the opposing team.

Pearson will be making his third career major league start. He has allowed four hits and five walks with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.

"I'm working on command, that's the big focus right now," Pearson said Tuesday.

The Marlins came back to tie the Blue Jays on a three-run homer by Francisco Cervelli in the ninth inning Tuesday. But Travis Shaw won it with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th.

Bo Bichette's three-run homer had helped the Blue Jays to a 3-1 lead. The homer was notable because it was the first Toronto homer with men on base since Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays when Cavan Biggio hit a three-run shot. The next 14 Blue Jays homers were solo.

While the pitching has been solid, Toronto's hitters have yet to produce consistently.

Tuesday was their first time scoring more than three runs in a game since July 30.

"It's all about your approach at the plate," Montoyo said. "They have been working on that for awhile now. I know it's going to get better."

The Marlins, who have had 18 players sidelined because of COVID-19, won six of their first seven games before the current losing run.

The Marlins feel that they have a lot of similarities with the Blue Jays.

"They've got a good combination like us," said Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who was 0-for-3 with a walk on Tuesday. "A lot of young guys and veteran guys. I think we've been doing a really good job of pulling things together. They've got great futures. We've got really good young talent here, too."

"We see all the young talent on the other side," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We've heard a lot about it. They have a lot of big prospects and things like that. Just their numbers -- they've got a lot of equal splits, not heavy, just beating up righties or lefties."

--Field Level Media

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