It doesn't get easier for Blue Jays

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:01 AM ET

ATLANTA - It isn’t going to get any easier for the Blue Jays as they march through June towards the all-star break.

“I was looking at the team stats in the paper (Tuesday morning),” Adam Lind said. “The Braves are second in ERA (3.12) in their league, then we go to St. Louis, they lead the league in hitting (.272). We come home to play the Pittsburgh Pirates, they’re fifth in ERA (3.52) and then Philadelphia which is first (3.03). Next, we go to Boston, the Red Sox are running away with it and then Cleveland. Then, we have the all-star break and open against the New York Yankees.”

Quality no more

The Jays’ string of quality starts came to an end at seven. Right-hander Zach Stewart gave up five runs in his 3 2/3 innings. The Jays starters took a 1.90 ERA into Tuesday’s game over their recent impressive run of quality starts.

Streak over

Despite having his streak of reaching base in 24 consecutive games end Monday night, Jose Bautista still leads the majors in walks (62), on-base percentage (.476) slugging (.657), OPS (1.133) and is tied for first in homers (21) with Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, both of the New York Yankees.

“I’m still getting into favourable counts, like 2-1 and 3-1, but they’re pitching me more carefully,” Bautista said before Tuesday’s game.

“They aren’t throwing the ball over the plate. I’ll make an adjustment.”

No hit-a-thon

Shortstop Dickie Joe Thon, a fifth-round selection in June 2010 who was given a $1.5-million US signing bonus — the 20th largest of 2010 — made his pro debut Monday for the rookie-class Gulf Coast Jays. Thon was 1-for-2 in a 5-3 loss to Bradenton. Jorge Vega-Rosado, a 28th-round draft this June out of Miami Dade Junior College, took over at short and hit a solo homer. Mississauga’s Dalton Pompey was hitless in two at-bats.


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