Orioles sweep weak-hitting Jays
By Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency
|Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew Hutchison throws during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles during their MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland, April 26, 2012. (REUTERS)
BALTIMORE - The Blue Jays slipped out of Baltimore with their tails between their legs.
With the offence AWOL, the Blue Jays hit rock bottom against a team that in past years they had dominated.
The Jays were simply skunked in the series as they totalled just three runs in the three losses with Wednesday’s defeat a shutout. The lone earned run they scored was in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat.
The Jays dropped the finale 5-2 with the two runs being of the unearned variety against lefty Brian Matusz.
In the Jays clubhouse, Jose Bautista, 0-for-3 on the night and 1-for-11 in the series said it was not the time for panic.
“It’s no secret that we didn’t score many runs but we’re going to keep plugging away. It’s a long season,” said Bautista, who on the seven-game road trip was 4-for-25. “We’re still right around .500 (10-9) and the most encouraging thing is that our pitchers are doing a great job, so that’s excellent news and hopefully they can continue to do that.
“I’m not really worried about our offence. I know we’re going to pick it up. I just hope we do it sooner than later.”
On the whole, the Jays offence hasn’t clicked in at any time, through any stretch of games.
“That’s a little bit surprising but I’m not going to dwell on it,” Bautista added.
Bautista is the big stick in the lineup but after 19 games he is scuffling with a .194 average with one double, three homers and nine RBIs. Until he gets hot, there’s nothing he can really do to help turn his team around.
“Other than playing hard, trying to lead by example and doing things like that I don’t think I have to do anything extraordinary,” he said. “If I started doing stuff like that when things are not going great then it’s not going to come natural. So I’m not going to go out of my way to do anything to try to bring the team up or anything. I’ve just got to play hard and hopefully these guys do too and they have been doing. It’s been a tough last three games.”
On a personal level, he said he’s just going to keep plugging away.
“Keep grinding at-bats and swing at good pitches,” he said. “I got myself out three times today by swinging at bad pitches. I’ve said it before — swing at strikes, that’s all I’ve got to do.”
In the loss the Jays finally snapped a string of 20 consecutive scoreless inning on a two-out bouncer up the first-base line that eluded the glove of Nick Johnson. It was ruled an error and the two runs that scored on the play were unearned.
There’s little the Jays can do but plug away when they open a three-game series at home against Seattle
“We’ve got to regroup, be prepared to come out and play against Seattle tomorrow (Friday),” manager John Farrell said. “We’ve got to play better collectively. The way the road trip started out with a four-game sweep in Kansas City to have it end (losing three to Baltimore), it kind of leaves a bad taste.”
It’s a slump they’ll have to ride out.
“We’re certainly not going to make wholesale changes,” Farrell said. “I don’t think anybody likes to come out of here with a sweep.”