Jays look for improved pitching in DH vs. Phils

Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays, coming off a historic beatdown over the past three days in the Bronx, will hope to get back on track Friday when they visit Philadelphia for a doubleheader against the Phillies.

In a makeup game, the Phillies technically will be considered the road team in the first game.

Toronto pitching allowed six home runs in a 10-7 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday. Five of those long balls came in a single inning, just the seventh time that has occurred in major league history.

However, that only tells part of the story regarding the Blue Jays’ pitching woes. Toronto served up six homers to the Yankees on Tuesday and seven on Wednesday, with the total of 19 in the series representing a big-league record for a three-game span.

The Blue Jays (26-23) were outscored 43-15 while losing all three games to the Yankees.

“They’re a hot team right now, that’s how I saw it,” Montoyo said of the Yankees. “We’re fine. We won nine straight series or tied, so we had a bad series. That happens. We came into here, they were a hot team playing and they ended up hot. …

“A whole month winning series and then you have a bad one. OK, so that’s baseball.”

The slumping Phillies (24-25) were unable to hold a 6-3 lead and fell 10-6 to the New York Mets on Wednesday. The bullpen continued to struggle as its combined ERA rose from 7.05 to 7.17 — the worst in the major leagues by far.

“We kind of find it hard to believe,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve got to continue to try and right the ship with a lot of guys in the bullpen.”

Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin will start in one game with the other game likely to be a bullpen effort.

Eflin is 2-2 with a 5.01 ERA in eight starts. For Eflin’s career against Toronto, he’s 0-2 with a 15.95 ERA in two starts.

The biggest issue with Eflin this season has been location.

“I’ve got to do a better job of, when I pitch in, I need to pitch in,” Eflin said. “I don’t want the ball to leak back over the plate.”

Bryce Harper broke out of an 0-for-11 slump with two home runs and two walks on Thursday. Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius also homered, with all three going back-to-back-to-back for home runs in the first inning.

But Jean Segura, arguably the hottest hitter on the team, was hit by a pitch on the triceps and is unlikely to play Friday. The Phillies will also continue to be without injured catcher J.T. Realmuto and first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

“This team never gives up,” Girardi said. “I believe in them.”

The Blue Jays are trying not to lose belief despite their pitching and injury issues.

Closer Ken Giles (right flexor strain) is likely out for the season and outfielder Derek Fisher (right knee contusion) has been placed on the injured list.

“He gave it all he had,” Montoyo said of Giles. “It just didn’t work out. That’s how it felt. I wouldn’t think he’s coming back this year.”

Toronto is expected to hand the ball to Robbie Ray for the first game. Ray is 2-4 with a 6.85 ERA and this will be his 10th start of the season.

Ray is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five career starts against the Phillies.

In Ray’s last outing against the Mets, he allowed four hits and one run in five innings.

“The biggest thing is that I felt athletic on the mound,” Ray said. “I felt like I was getting to my load, getting to my back side and driving down the mound like I normally do.”

Ross Stripling will likely pitch the second game, his ninth start of the season. Stripling is 3-3 with a 5.88 ERA.

In Stripling’s career, he’s 1-0 with a 4.68 ERA in seven games, four starts, against the Phillies.

The Blue Jays received some good news on offense with Teoscar Hernandez being activated from a maddening oblique strain.

“I’m ready to go and I don’t feel anything,” said Hernandez, who has 14 home runs and 27 RBIs.

–Field Level Media

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