Bichette back to being Royal pain for opponents as Jays top K.C.

Get the latest from Frank Zicarelli straight to your inbox

Article content

The Bo Show was back in The Show, ultimately showing the way for a Blue Jays team that has yet to demonstrate an ability to pounce quickly and decisively on a weak opponent.

Advertisement 2

Article content

This late in the season, it seems unlikely that the Jays will give themselves the necessary breathing room to exhale and play freely, the latest example provided Friday night when the Kansas City Royals opened a weekend stay in Toronto.

Article content

Stiffer tests await, but for now the Jays will gladly take any win, regardless of how or when it’s seized.

The evening marked the return of Bo Bichette, who played a key role in Toronto’s 5-4 win. He knocked in the Jays’ first two runs and scored the third run as the home side took its first lead of the night.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. benefitted by Bichette’s presence by sending a two-run double into the gap as the Jays scored four runs in the decisive seventh inning.

Advertisement 3

Article content

The Royals scored once in the eighth and had runners at the corner with two outs. K.C. would load the bases and force the Jays to summon Jordan Romano from the bullpen. He needed one pitch to end the inning on a force out.

The Royals had the tying run on base in the ninth following two walks. And then the go-ahead run following a two-out RBI single. But a long out to right-centre field would end the game.

During this stretch of playing some of baseball’s lesser lights, the Jays have made their existence much more difficult than it should be as evidenced by the team’s recent road trip to Denver and Oakland and prior to that at home against Cleveland and Washington.

When he returned from a knee injury, Bichette spoke of the team’s need to be fearless. Now that he’s back from a quad setback, Bichette stressed the importance of being in the moment.

Article content

Advertisement 4

Article content

“This is when you find out what we’re made of,’’ he said. “Nothing else matters up to this point. It’s all about now.”

When the Royals came to town, the Jays were half a game up on the slumping Texas Rangers, who begin a four-game series Monday night in Toronto. The Rangers are playing host to the A’s in a weekend series before heading north.

As for Bichette, the Jays plan to ease their star into games.

“I think initially there might be a bit of that,” he said.


We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

“We have a little bit of a plan mapped out, but I hope it’s finished by the time Texas comes around. We have to just win every game, but obviously with the standings, those are big games. Every game from here on out is big.”

In his return, Bichette was back playing shortstop and batting second in the lineup.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Toronto’s starting pitcher, Yusei Kikuchi, almost became an afterthought. He received nothing in the way of offensive support and only gave up one hit of significance, but it happened to be a homer.

Overall, Kikuchi did what he had done in each of his previous 27 starts by going five innings. Against the Royals, he struck out eight, yielded one walk and surrendered three hits. When Kikuchi’s outing had ended, the Jays were trailing 1-0.


To the surprise of no one, Danny Jansen will not be available for the balance of the regular season.

When he fractured his right middle finger following a foul tip in Colorado, it seemed inevitable Jansen would miss considerable time. A second opinion would be arranged, but ultimately Jansen had to undergo surgery.

Advertisement 6

Article content

During his pre-game availability Friday, manager John Schneider did not rule out a possible return for Jansen in the post-season. In some ways, that’s good news amid the very bad news surrounding Jansen, who has come up big at the plate.

The Jays, naturally, will have to first make the playoffs.

Jansen is an unheralded player given his lack of profile on the team, but his importance can’t be measured and his presence will be felt and has been felt on nights when he’s not in the lineup.


If you haven’t heard much of Collin Snider, rest assured you’re not alone.

K.C. used the righty as their opener in the series opener. He needed all of five pitches to retire the side in the first, all for strikes that led to a pop-out in foul territory and two groundouts.

Advertisement 7

Article content

Snider was not expected to pitch more than once through the order, which made sense because he has not exceeded more than two innings in any of his 49 appearances this season in the big leagues or at triple-A Omaha.


We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

In the second inning, Snider gave up a leadoff double down the right-field line to Davis Schneider, who was the DH, on a 1-1 count.

Following a walk that put two runners on base, Snider induced a double-play and then ended the inning on a strikeout. He needed 15 pitches to record three outs in the second.

In the top of the third, Royals No. 9 hitter Dairon Blanco went deep on a solo blast.

K.C. had Alec Marsh on the mound to start the home half of the inning. Two groundouts and one strikeout later, Marsh would make quick work of the Blue Jays.

Advertisement 8

Article content


Reliever Erik Swanson is scheduled to pitch in a rehab outing Saturday for the triple-A Buffalo Bisons. The Jays believe Swanson requires one rehab outing and envision having the righty back with the team when Texas comes to town. Against visiting Cleveland, Swanson hurt his back and would be placed on the IL … Matt Chapman (finger) remains out with no concrete timeline on when the pending free-agent third baseman will return to the lineup. Before Friday night’s game, Chapman began the process of hitting and throwing … 1B/DH Brandon Belt was once again not in the lineup following a series of back tightness and an annoying stomach bug.

[email protected]

Article content

Advertisement 1

Deja un comentario