Blue Jays, with some new faces, cruise to series opening win over Minnesota

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Friday, August 5, 2022

Final Score: 9-3

MINNEAPOLIS–The Toronto Blue Jays turned up to Minnesota on Thursday night with some new faces in the clubhouse.


Following Tuesday’s league-wide trade deadline, the team’s newest acquisitions were finally set to join the team officially as Toronto Blue Jays for Thursday’s series opener at Target Field.


Among the new faces are bull pen helpers Zach Pop and former Blue Jay Anthony Bass. Toronto also grabbed starter Mitch White from the LA Dodgers but the newest player making the most waves was INF/OF Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals who was picked up just minutes before Tuesday’s 6PM deadline. 


The only issue, many believed he still wasn’t vaccinated as he was one of 10 Royals players who were put on the restricted list prior to KC’s series here in Toronto last month. Merrifield was vocal about his hesitation to get vaccinated but leading up to the deadline stated he would reconsider if being moved to a contending team that would have to play games in Toronto – whether it be Toronto or another team within the division. 


When asked about his status prior to the game, his answer was always the same. “I’ll be in Toronto when the team gets there,” stated Merrifield. He said he had an inkling he was going to be moved as early as two-three weeks ago and is implying he jumped the gun knowing about the possibility. 


Merrifield got the start in centre field for Thursday’s contest with George Springer opting to hit in the DH spot. Alek Manoah got his first nod since taking a comebacker off of his throwing elbow in his most recent start against Detroit last week. Manoah started this one looking as sharp as ever cruising through the early innings with ease before a Carlos Correa line drive came abc and stung him on the same arm. Two starts, two comeback line drives to your throwing arm. 


That’s less than ideal.


Manoah would stay in the game but looked temporarily shaken. Manoah would walk the next two batters before drilling Jose Miranda with the bases loaded to walk in the go-ahead run for Minnesota. 


“Second week in a row something so odd like that happens. Thank the Lord it was not as much of a deal as it could have been,” Manoah said. “[Elbow’s] good. We’ll see tomorrow. But it got me a little higher this time on the triceps. So, just some soft tissue stuff. We’ll work it out of there.”


The offence picked things up later in this one though as Teoscar Hernandez crushed a solo shot in the top of the sixth to even the tide. This was followed by RBIs from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Merrifield as well who finished the night with two hits and a run scored. 


This one was just about a done deal but Vladdy Guerrero Jr. felt some insurance was needed and delivered just that by way of a three-run missile that left the park in a hurry for the finishing touches on the 9-3 victory.


The Blue Jays improve to 13-3 since John Schneider’s appointment as manager as they go again with the Twins on Friday evening.