Despite setting a season high with 16 hits and forcing St. Lucie to use two position players on the mound, the Blue Jays (6-6) fell short 11-10 in a back-and-forth battle with the St. Lucie Mets (6-6) on Monday night in Dunedin. Every batter in the Blue Jays lineup had at least one hit, but Blue Jays pitchers were unable to hold off repeated comebacks by St. Lucie, and a pair of late rallies fell short.
After the Mets took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, the Blue Jays responded with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Following a lead-off walk by LF Derrick Loveless, CF Lane Thomas tripled high off the wall in straightaway centerfield to tie the game. Singles by SS JC Cardenas, RF Andrew Guillotte, 2B Cavan Biggio, 1B Juan Kelly, and C Danny Jansen put the Jays ahead 5-1.
Starter LHP Ryan Borucki was excellent early for the Jays, allowing just two hits through the first four innings while striking out six. A walk, a pair of errors, and a double allowed the Mets to put up two runs in the fifth, but the Jays answered immediately in the bottom of the inning with a run to extend their lead to 6-3.
Borucki appeared to tire in the sixth, allowing a lead-off home run to Mets DH Wuilmer Becerra. Following a strikeout, Borucki's eigth of the game, 1B Jhoan Urena doubled and was singled home by SS JC Rodriguez. The Jays brought in RHP Josh DeGraaf to try to quell the rally by the Mets, but the first St. Lucie batter he faced, LF Jeff Diehl, homered to left to give St. Lucie a 7-6 lead.
Dunedin took the lead back in the bottom of the seventh. Danny Jansen singled to start the inning, his third of four hits on the night. A perfectly executed hit-and-run by Lane Thomas put runners on the corners. Jansen came in to score on a wild pitch, and Thomas followed him home on a safety squeeze by Cardenas.
The Mets battled back in the eighth, sandwiching a walk between four consecutive hits to take an 11-8 lead. The Blue Jays fought back in the bottom half the inning, scoring two runs on a double by Derrick Loveless and single by 3B Matt Dean. Their rally fell short when the Mets used a pair of position players, Jeff Diehl in the eighth and C Anthony Dimino in the ninth to close out the game and the 11-10 victory for St. Lucie.
Blue Jays reliever Tom Robson (1-2) took the loss for Dunedin while Mets reliever Johnny Magliozzi (1-1) was credited with the victory. Dimino picked up his first save of the year, throwing a scoreless ninth inning. The two teams will square off again tomorrow at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.
Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen set a season-high with four hits in his fifth multi-hit game of the season. With his four hits tonight, he now leads the Florida State League in batting average at .459.
"The last couple years I've been kind of searching for myself. This Spring Training I said I'm going to do what I did when I had success and what got me here, which is being simple, relaxed, and not thinking about mechanics. I'm trying to be more aggressive and, I'm not going to lie, I've been putting balls in the right places, there's a little bit of luck there. I'm going to stick with it," Jansen said following tonight's game of his approach at the plate and success so far this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.