Blue Jays get shut out for eight inning in a pitching duel against the Astros

The talk of the town with the Toronto Blue Jays over the last week has been their uprising in offence, and the downturn in their pitching. Yet, today’s game was certainly the opposite, as two starting pitchers gave their ballclub a chance to win.

Toronto SP Yariel Rodriguez made his third start since coming off the injured list, although his last one only lasted just 1.0 inning due to being called and pushed to later in the year. Rodriguez’s biggest issue this season has been not lasting long into games, as the RHP had only gone 4.0 innings for his longest start of the season.

Rodriguez would answer the call, going 6.0 innings in the game, allowing a single run. His only big mistake came to Houston’s Jeremy Peña, hitting a hanging breaking ball out of the yard, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Rodriguez’s fastball/slider combo was the most lethal to the Astros, generating 19 whiffs in today’s game. As good as Rodriguez was, he was out-performed by Astros SP Hunter Brown.

Brown made his fifth straight superb start after starting off the year horribly. Brown in his first six starts of the season gave up 25 earned runs over 19.0 innings, accumulating an ERA of 9.78 during that span.

Brown today went 6.0 innings, only allowing two hits, and gave up no runs to Toronto. Brown has now only allowed one run in his last 31 innings (0.31 ERA during that span).

The RHP has already had the pitches, but the Houston Astros believe the confidence he’s gaining on the mound will turn him into an ace.

Brown’s win was sealed after Yordan Álvarez blasted a two-run homer in the ninth inning, as Houston went on top by three. Álvarez looks to make another all-star appearance, collecting 17 home runs, with a .900 OPS.

In terms of the Jays offence, both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Isiah Kiner-Falefa were scratched from today’s lineup. Guerrero Jr., named American League player of the week, is still recovering from being hit on the hand by Yankees SP Gerrit Cole from yesterday’s game said the ballclub. Meanwhile, Kiner-Falefa was removed with a left knee injury, according to the Blue Jays.

Toronto’s lineup only had four hits total in the game, and their lone run came from Ernie Clement hitting a solo home run in the ninth.

Now 38-46 and 8.0 games back of a final Wild Card spot, Toronto looks to be mini sellers at the deadline, as they couldn’t overcome a tough June schedule.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Toronto is looking to trade upcoming free agents, including Danny Jansen, Yusei Kikuchi, Kevin Kiermaier, Justin Turner and Yimi Garcia.

Nightengale mentions the Jays want to keep Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette for one last push for a World Series title with their main core till next summer.

It’s safe to assume Toronto would want to add young starting pitching that can join their rotation for next year, and bats to their outfield.

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