For the second night in a row our boys in blue gave us little to cheer about. Last night dropping the series finale to the Royals 9-6, and tonight losing the opener to the Rays 6-1. James Sheilds held the Jays to 1 run on 7 hits tonight. Striking out 12 on his way to his tenth complete game of the season.
Despite coming out on the wrong side of the stat sheet, there were some positives that Jays fans can take away from both games. Toronto's 1 run tonight came off the bat of Brett Lawrie, hitting his fifth home run already this season in just twenty games.
Last night Jose Bautista went 2 for 3 with two walks, a double and a run scored, and Edwin Encarnacion had a double and went deep for his thirteenth of the season.
The most notable positive for the Jays last night however was JP Arencibia going yard for the twentieth time this season to tie John Buck for the franchise record for most home runs by a catcher in a single season. JP needs one more to capture sole possession of the record, and he's got just over a month to get it done in. Congratulations JP on tying the record.
Although the Blue Jays had a less than steller night against the Royals last night, there were a handful of Canadian players who did. Starting with two in this very game. Jeff Francis started the game for the Royals, and threw 6 innings, allowing just two runs and striking out 5.
On the other side of the diamond, Brett Lawrie collected two hits including a triple for the Blue Jays. But Francis and Lawrie weren't the only two Canadian big leaguers having a good night last night.
Chris Leroux (born in Montreal, attended high school in Mississauga) who is quietly having a very good season in Pittsburgh, struck out three and walked just one working two scoreless innings for the Priates. Justin Morneau had a good night as well going 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI for the twins.
The story of the evening for Canadian players, unfortunately, goes to a Yankee. Russel Martin was 5 for 5 with two home runs (one of which a grand slam), a double, three runs scored, and six RBI's to lead the Yankees over the Athletics 22 - 9 in New York last night. Martin had 12 total bases on the night. Which is the second only to Larry Walker for the most total bases in a game for a Canadian player.
Joey Votto should also have honourable mention here. Even though his Reds didn't play Thursday, they were part of a double header on Wednesday, and Votto when deep in both games of the double dip.
So if it's any consolation, even though "Canada's Team" may have had a few rough nights, it appears that Canada has still been very well represented in the world of Major League Baseball. Having said that, let's hope the Blue Jays can get back on track with a win tomorrow.