If the bottom of the Blue Jays rotation can get shutouts like JA Happ did Saturday against the Red Sox, and the bottom of their line-up can produce two home run blasts from sub-.250 hitters, then this may truly be the year that the AL East gets flipped with Toronto on top and the Red Sox and Yankees in fourth and fifth.
Happ had to be removed in the sixth inning after struggling with control but being virtually unhittable with six strikeouts and one hit allowed in 5 1/3 innings, and relievers Steve Delabar and Aaron Loup came into throw 19 strikes in 23 pitches for a 5-0 win.
The Blue Jays scored only seven runs in three losses this season, and the top five batters in the line-up had just five singles in 18 at bats. However, all five runs came on home runs from career sub-.250 hitters near the bottom of the line-up.
As reported earlier, John Lackey was hurt earlier in the game. Lackey put up three scoreless innings in his first trip back to the mound in 17 months after Tommy John surgery, but then JP Arencibia stroked his third home run of the season. Arencibia hit two home runs Thursday in a 10-8 win over Cleveland and the .224 lifetime hitter is hitting .368 in the early season.
Alfredo Aceves relieved Lackey after the injury, and had another shaky appearance after almost blowing Wednesday’s game against the Yankees. Colby Rasmus smashed a 468-foot home run off the third level to bring home the final three runs of the game in the sixth inning. Rasmus is the No. 8 hitter in the Blue Jays line-up, and is a career .242 batter who is hitting only .167 this season, but he has had two 20-homer seasons.