The Canadian Press
TORONTO–Ryan Goins isn’t a fan of the Blue Jays wearing red jerseys.
Toronto made a collective team decision to opt for their more traditional white jerseys yesterday and it led to a 7-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in interleague play.
“When you’re 2-7 in the red jersey, you just bang it,” Goins joked of the red uniform, which has been worn every Sunday this season to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
“We should probably shred ’em, burn ’em, I don’t know, give ’em away to charity,” he added.
“They need to go.”
The Jays’ infielder drove in a pair of runs during the first inning in the win.
Goins has a team-high .348 average (23-for-66) with runners in scoring position and has plated 40 of them this season, tying him with Justin Smoak for the team lead.
“Some guys bear down more. That could be it,” said manager John Gibbons, who won his 700th game with the Jays.
“Maybe he expands a little bit more when there’s no one on base; looks like he uses the opposite side of the field a bit more with guys in scoring position,” Gibbons added.
“That’s what I see.”
Josh Donaldson hit a two-run home run while starter J.A. Happ threw six innings of one-run ball for the Jays (56-61).
Toronto has won four-of-six on its current 10-game homestand and nine of its last 13 at home overall.
Happ (6-8) struggled in the first allowing a run on three hits, but settled down to allow just one hit over the next five innings for his third-straight win.
“Happ was really good,” said Gibbons. “I thought he was a little bit off early in the game and then he found that groove.
“He’s been on a nice roll ever since he came back from the elbow issues,” he noted.
“He basically lives with the fastball, which is very hard to do.
“When he’s getting some good hitters out, that’ll tell you he’s locating it where he wants,” Gibbons added.
Danny Barnes, Leonel Campos, Ryan Tepera, and J.P. Howell combined to pitch three scoreless innings in relief.
Chad Kuhl (5-8) allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits in taking the loss.
The right-hander struck out six but walked five.
The Pirates (58-60) now have dropped three of their last five games.
“I think [Happ] was able to pitch to a liberal strike zone,” said Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle.
“We were challenged at times,” he noted. “I’d come back up and look and think, ‘Man, that’s hard to cover that much territory at the plate.’
“He was able to maintain those areas, stay in those areas,” Hurdle added.
In AL action yesterday, Minnesota beat Detroit 6-4, Cleveland edged Tampa Bay 4-3, Kansas City dumped Chicago 14-6, Houston nipped Texas 2-1, Oakland upended Baltimore 9-3, L.A. doubled Seattle 4-2, and Boston shaded New York 3-2 (10 innings).
Over in the NL, Miami beat Colorado 5-3, New York downed Philadelphia 6-2, Milwaukee upended Cincinnati 7-4, Atlanta doubled St. Louis 6-3, Chicago dumped Arizona 7-2, and L.A. shaded San Diego 6-4.
Washington split a doubleheader with San Francisco, losing the first game 4-2 before winning the nightcap 6-2 (11 innings).