Blue Jays vs. Giants Game Recap - Apr. 23, 2019

Jamie Branje
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

TORONTO - A late rally came up just short as the Toronto Blue Jays fell to the San Francisco Giants 7-6 on Tuesday night.


Rowdy Tellez scored two runs and hit an eighth inning grand slam to push the offence for Toronto.


The Giants hit four home runs, one hit by each of Evan Longoria, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt and Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval recorded three hits total and scored two runs to lead the visiting club. 


Sam Dyson stuck around in relief for the eighth inning after a clean seventh but faced immediate trouble - Eric Sogard walked, Richard Urena hit a single under the glove of Panik at second base and Randal Grichuk hit a ball off the wall in right field, but only earned a single out of it as both base runners held in anticipation of a fly ball out. 


Tony Watson entered the game for San Francisco (10-14) with the bases loaded and none out. Justin Smoak struck out but Tellez, who is a career 3-for-28 against left handed pitching, hit a grand slam off the veteran lefty to pull the Blue Jays (11-13) back within one run. 


Closer Will Smith entered in the ninth to protect a one-run lead, and retired the side on two called strikeouts and a groundout to earn the save. 


Starter for the Giants was veteran Jeff Samardzija (2-1), who pitched five and 1/3rd innings with two earned runs, five hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. 


Trent Thornton (0-3) started for Toronto and finished with five innings pitched; he allowed four earned runs on six hits with no walks allowed and five strikeouts.


Sandoval, as the designated hitter, registered the first hit in the bottom of the second with a soft liner to right field. Brandon Crawford hit a soft liner to centre and, in his return to the Rogers Centre, Kevin Pillar cashed the first run of the game in on a line drive to left field. 


Pillar was traded on Apr 2, and made his first return back to Toronto to a lengthy applause from the fans. He spent more than seven seasons in Toronto and had become a fan favourite. 


Panik stepped up to the plate and knocked a double down the right field line, the fourth straight two-out hit of the inning, to score two runs and give the Giants an early 3-0 lead. 


Toronto responded immediately in the bottom of the second with a double off the opposite field wall by Tellez. Two batters later Socrates Brito hit a triple to right field to score the first run for the Jays with two out. 


Both pitchers began to settle down until the top of the fifth, when Panik hit a monster home run to right field to lead off the inning, pushing the lead back to three.


Thomas Pannone replaced Thornton to open the sixth and recorded one out before allowing a solo home run to dead centre by Longoria.


There was a response from Toronto with none out in the bottom of the sixth, as Eric Sogard hit his first home run of the season and first since 2017. A single by Grichuk and a walk by Smoak chased Samardzija from the game. Mark Melancon entered with one out in the bottom of the sixth and retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.


Dyson replaced Melancon to begin the bottom of the seventh, and struck out Billy McKinney on three pitches. He needed just seven pitches to retire the side. 


The home run troubles continued for Pannone in the eighth, when Belt crushed a hanging breaking ball off the facing of the second level in right field. This prompted Charlie Montoyo to call on Daniel Hudson out of the bullpen.


Pannone finished with two and 1/3rd innings pitched, and he allowed two runs on three hits with one strikeout. 


Sandoval continued the home run barrage for the Giants, collecting his third hit of the night and first home run of the season off of Hudson to increase the lead to 7-2.


The Giants had a chance to open the scoring in the top of the first with Gerardo Parra standing on third and two out, after he reached on an error by Justin Smoak. He attempted a straight steal of home and was thrown out by Thornton.  


These teams return to action tomorrow afternoon to wrap up the mini two-game series, with Toronto sending Clay Buchholz to the mound opposite San Francisco's Drew Pomeranz.