Blue Jays get shut down by the worst team in MLB, dropping a 5-0 game to the White Sox

For the second time this season, the Toronto Blue Jays were shutout, but this one came against the worst team in the Majors, the Chicago White Sox (15-34), leading Jays fans around the Rogers Centre to boo their own team in a disappointing 5-0 loss.

In some defense for Toronto’s lackluster hitting once again, the starter they were facing wasn’t a soft-throwing lefty this time.

Chicago SP Garrett Crochet is known for his high-velocity fastball, which has averaged 96mph this year and can reach 100mph at times. The former MLB reliever moved into the rotation this year for Chicago after the team traded or lost some SPs in free agency, including Dylan Cease.

Crochet struck out three Blue Jays with the heater and retired thirteen straight batters at one point. The LHP went six innings, allowing just two hits and no runs. Crochet is on a hot streak right now, going at least five innings in his last four starts, only giving up one earned run in all four of them combined, and lowering his ERA to 3.75.

Backed by his offence, Chicago struck against Jays SP Yusei Kikuchi early. Kikuchi didn’t have his best stuff tonight, giving up hard contact on the middle-of-the-zone fastballs and not getting the strikeouts he normally accumulates, but all the runs weren’t his fault.

Ernie Clement made a throwing error in the second, allowing Korey Lee to reach base and eventually score to break the scoreless game, as the White Sox took a 1-0 lead. Clement has now made three errors in the past two weeks for a Jays team ranking 17th in MLB in errors per game heading into today’s game (0.59).

Clement would make up for the error in the fourth, diving to catch a groundball on the third base line that would have scored another run from second base. However, his throw couldn’t get the runner out at first base in time. Luckily, Kikichi escaped the jam and kept the game within a run for Toronto.

However, it only got worse for Kikuchi after giving up a two-run single to Corey Julks and giving Chicago a 3-0 lead. Scoring three runs for this Chicago team is usually uncommon, considering they averaged 2.83 runs a game before today’s matchup, which is the lowest for runs per game in the majors.

Kikuchi kept Toronto in the game, going six innings and allowing five hits and two earned runs. It’s his fourth straight start giving up two earned runs or less, but his solid outing didn’t change much for Toronto, as Chicago would add two more in the eighth, scoring all five runs with two outs and cruising to a victory.

Toronto’s lack of consistency is concerning, as the squad hasn’t won more than four games in a row this season. With an easier schedule, Toronto needs to go on a 10-game win streak to be in contention for a playoff spot, but with June coming around the corner, trade discussions could start to heat up for a team five games below .500.

One positive from the game was Justin Turner snapping an 0-30 streak, doubling off Crochet for Toronto’s first hit in the fourth. Turner’s last hit came exactly two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Interestingly enough, Toronto has yet to sweep a team or get swept this season, as they’re the only team that’s avoided either. While the Jays won’t get a clean 3-0 sweep of the White Sox, Toronto faces an easier pitcher in tomorrow’s series-deciding match.

Chicago is going with Mike Clevinger (6-2, 5.56), who hasn’t gone past five innings in four straight starts. Meanwhile, Toronto will send SP Chris Bassitt to the series finale tomorrow. Bassitt has an ERA of 5.03, but to his credit, most of his runs given up in the past few starts have been in the later innings of his starts.

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