Blue Jays struggle to score runs as they drop game two to the Tigers

Looking back on their previous 49 games, the Toronto Blue Jays ranked 10th in the MLB when it came to leaving runners in scoring position, averaging 3.56 runners per game. On the outside, it may not seem like a big number, but after Friday’s loss to the Detroit Tigers, it is something that is concerning more Blue Jays fans.

On the bump, the Blue Jays sent Alek Manoah (1-1, 3.00), who in his last two starts, looked like the All Star he was in 2022. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have his best stuff against a scrappy Tigers lineup. Manoah threw 4 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) over five hits, walking two and striking out four while taking his second loss of the year.

Detroit sent Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.75), who had just returned from a stint on the IL due to an illness. Maeda turned in 5 innings of work, giving up four hits, allowing no runs, walking none and striking out one to earn his second win of the season.

The scoring would get started in the bottom of the 2nd, when Detroit struck first. Rookie Colt Keith got the Tigers on the board with a solo homer, his first career Major league home run to give his team a 1-0 lead.

Two innings later, in the bottom of the 4th, the Tigers started to add pressure as the first three hitters reached to load the bases with nobody out. A Matt Vierling sacrifice fly scored Riley Greene to double the lead to 2-0, but a Kevin Kiermaier error allowed Kerry Carpenter and Mark Canha to advance to second and third. Colt Keith would get hit by a pitch to score a run and extend the Detroit lead to 3-0. A Zach McKinstry groundout would give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.

Detroit would tally two more runs in the bottom of the 5th, with Kerry Carpenter hitting a two run homer to extend the lead to 6-0.

The game would remain 6-0 until the top of the 9th, where the Blue Jays showed just a little bit of life. RBI singles by Davis Schneider and Alejandro Kirk plated two runs to cut the deficit to 6-2, but it wasn’t enough. Jason Foley would induce a Danny Jansen groundout to secure game two of the four game series.

In the end, the Blue Jays’ big problem yet again is their inability to hit with runners in scoring position, going 1 for 6 in their 6-2 loss to the Tigers. Toronto’s batting average with runners in scoring position sits at .227 and currently stands at 28th in all of Major League Baseball.

The Blue Jays will send Jose Berrios (5-3, 2.98) to the mound as he is set to face Reese Olson (0-5, 2.16) for the Tigers tomorrow afternoon.

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