Blue Jays Lose Three Players To COVID-Related Issues; Pounded By Halos

The Blue Jays suffered a 7-1 loss to the Angels on Friday night, their fourth straight defeat. (Tom Layberger)

DUNEDIN – The only reason why Blue Jays fans in Dunedin may recognize the lineup manager Charlie Montoya pencils in during the remainder of the current homestand is due to the bloated roster they were accustomed to seeing during spring training.

With Teoscar Hernandez (contact tracing), Ryan Borucki (vaccine-related symptoms) and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. (vaccine-related symptoms) placed on COVID IL on Friday, reinforcements made their way to TD Ballpark with more likely on the way. Gurriel was pulled after two innings in Friday night’s 7-1 loss to the Angels.

These latest developments are on top of the Blue Jays already having to make do without George Springer, Kirby Yates, Nate Pearson, Robbie Ray and Tyler Chatwood due to injury. Chatwood was placed on the IL Friday – Friday, as you might have guessed, was a tough day – with right triceps inflammation.

With so many players sidelined, the bottom third of the Toronto order comprised of players that were a combined 0-for-11 coming in: Johnny Davis, Alejandro Kirk and Josh Palacios, who was making his MLB debut after being added to the roster. (They finished the night 0-for-22.)

Pitchers Ty Tice and Joel Payamps were also summoned Friday. Tice made his MLB debut and pitched two scoreless innings.

The loss was the Blue Jays’ fourth straight after opening the season 3-1. Shohei Ohtani had a bases-clearing double in the second inning that gave the Angels a 4-0 lead and came within two feet of clearing the wall in right center. His solo homer in the fifth traveled 422 feet to left center and made it 5-0.

Mike Trout followed Ohtani’s homer with a scorching drive off the left field wall that went for a double. That was followed by a Jared Walsh home run that hit the roof of the clubhouse beyond the right field wall and was estimated to have traveled 403 feet.

T.J. Zeuch, who followed opener David Phelps, allowed all seven runs (three earned) in taking the loss.

Andrew Heaney threw six shutout innings to pick up the win for the Angels. The lefty yielded only three hits and two walks while fanning nine.

Tom Layberger has been a sports writer and editor since 1990. Among the companies he has worked for are Beckett Publishing, The Topps Company and Comcast. In addition to being a contributing writer for sportstalkflorida.com, Tom also writes for forbes.com and Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs and a University of South Florida grad, Tom is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. He resides in Tampa.