The Toronto Blue Jays won their 10th consecutive game with a 5-4 victory in 11 innings over the Boston Red Sox courtesy of a home run by catcher Russell Martin.
If the Tampa Bay Rays lose their game against the Chicago White Sox (they are down 4-3 in the 8th inning) then the Jays will climb into second place in the AL East and be one game back of the New York Yankees in the AL East.
The key to the Jays’ success has been sheer offense. The Jays have scored at least 7 runs in 7 of their 10 victories during this streak. Martin, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson are their key offensive players. Indeed, Donaldson is having an MVP season. Trading Donaldson to the Jays might prove to be the undoing of A’s GM Billy Beane whose team is languishing in last place in the AL West despite the best efforts of Brett Lawrie. Beane and Donaldson had a shouting match with each other during last season prompting Donaldson’s departure. I saw an interview with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons the other day and he said that Donaldson provided the spark that the Jays’ clubhouse has been missing in recent years.
While it’s true the Jays have been beating up on weak teams like the Red Sox and Marlins they also swept the first place Astros and began the winning streak by taking two out of three against the Washington Nationals.
But the Jays need pitching. Aaron Sanchez is their only starter with an ERA under 4.00 and their bullpen only has seven saves. The Jays could pull off quite a coup if they pulled off a trade with the Phillies and landed Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon.
Given how weak the AL East has been the Jays figure to be competitive the rest of the way even if they don’t get pitching help.
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