The result was one to forget — a 9-5 loss to the White Sox — but it was a memorable night in Chicago nonetheless for a few Blue Jays.
The Jays led 5-1 in the seventh inning before Tyler Clippard, Jaime Garcia and Ryan Tepera combined to allowed eight runs on four singles, a double, a triple, a homer, a walk, a wild pitch and two hit batters.
Tepera took the loss after coughing up four earned runs without recording an out, with Leury Garcia’s three-run triple putting the game away.
Perhaps the Jays missed John Axford out of the ’pen. The 35-year-old Canadian with 537 career appearances, all in relief, made his first big-league start in the Blue Jays’ second bullpen game of the year. With J.A. Happ traded to the New York Yankees and Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez still recovering from injuries, manager John Gibbons had to mix and match.
Brandon Drury, acquired in the Happ trade, made his first start for the Jays at third base. The 25-year-old infielder went 1-for-4 and flashed some leather — making a sliding grab to end the first inning, barehanding a throw to Justin Smoak to close out the second, and starting an inning-ending double play in the third.
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Teammate Lourdes Gurriel Jr. set a franchise record with his 10th straight game of two hits or more, surpassing Tony Fernandez’s nine-game streak in 1986. Gurriel Jr. finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Toronto was up 4-0 when Axford left the game, after three innings of one-hit shutout on 38 pitches. It was the longest outing of his career.
The three-game series wraps up Sunday with Illinois product Ryan Borucki starting for the Jays against left-hander Carlos Rodon.
Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy