Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons thought pitcher Marcus Stroman might be the best bet for the team to snap their three-game skid against the Atlanta Braves Thursday night. While it was anticipated he would be stellar on the mound, no one expected him to hit his first career home run. Just the second home run by a pitcher in Blue Jays history, it helped power the team to a 9-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.
The Blue Jays also saw offense from Darrell Ceciliani. Called up from AAA Buffalo Tuesday, he took the place of Kevin Pillar in center field. Pillar was suspended by the team for two games for yelling an anti-gay slur at Braves pitcher Jason Motte Wednesday night. Ceciliani’s two-run homer in the third helped the Jays to pull away from the Braves, but he left the game with a left shoulder injury.
A day after Jose Bautista drew the ire of the Braves for a bat flip after a home run, he was hit in the thigh by a pitch from Atlanta starter Julio Teheran. The dugouts remained calm, but umpire Paul Emmel did issue a warning to both benches.
On the mound, Stroman went 5 ⅔ innings, allowing seven hits, and striking out six. He is now 6-1 with an ERA of 2.00 in interleague games. Teheran allowed all nine runs in just over three innings of work.
For the Blue Jays, they now travel to Baltimore as their road swing continues. They take on the Orioles Friday night in game one of a three-game set. Aaron Sanchez will get the start on the mound, as he looks for his first win of the season.
Catch all the action on Saskatchewan's home of Blue Jays Baseball, AM1190, starting at 5:00 p.m.