Eury Perez Dazzled but Marlins Offense Fizzled Against Toronto

Miami, FL – The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays squared off for game two of a three-game series at loanDepot Park and the team from up North evened up the series winning 2-0. After Miami scored 11 runs yesterday, the offense went cold today facing a tough left-hander, Yusei Kikuchi. Toronto took their turn at a shutout after getting blanked in the series opener yesterday 11-0.

Fans were in store for a pitcher’s duel and a very unlikely matchup. The game featured a 32-year-old veteran and Japanese All-Star versus a 20-year-old pitching phenom.

Holy $H!T He Is Only 20!

Eury Perez made the eighth start of his young MLB career and it is fair to say it was his best outing yet. It seems like it does not matter the venue or opponent, Perez will rise to the occasion.

The first time through the order Perez only surrendered one base hit and struck out five Blue Jays. Strikeouts are obviously impressive and the stat that stands out, but Perez will tell you that he is more proud of not giving up any walks. From the fourth inning to the final out in the sixth, Perez collected four more strikeouts. Perez finished his outing recording a new career-high nine strikeouts while allowing only three hits.

With his pitch count limit set at 90, manager Skip Schumaker made the right call to take Perez out of the game after completing six innings on 80 pitches (59 strikes).

The right-hander has been on a tear as of late giving up only one run in his last 27 innings pitched. He lowered his ERA to 1.54 and that is the lowest mark in club history through the first eight career starts. We thought Livan Hernandez‘s run in 1997 was special, well Perez’s run is on the level of Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

Toronto Pitching

Yusei Kikuchi practically mirrored Perez’s performance but both starters received a no-decision for their brilliant efforts. Kikuchi was borderline unhittable as the Marlins only scrapped together two hits in six innings against the southpaw. He also did not allow any walks while striking out six Marlins.

Four Toronto relievers combined to complete the shutout with Jordan Romano picking up his 21st save of the season.

Miami’s best chance to tie the game up came in the eighth inning when Nick Fortes doubled with one out and Joey Wendle followed that up with a pinch-hit single. Schumaker elected to go with another pinch hitter in Jesus Sanchez in place of rookie Jacob Amaya.

The Blue Jays countered with a lefty out of their bullpen, Tim Mayza. The advantage went to Toronto as Mayza got Sanchez to ground into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play.

That’s Just Baseball

The Marlins finished with six hits but that does not tell the full story of their offensive output. Every inning Miami made solid contact and had numerous line outs. The Blue Jays had their defense aligned perfectly with the help of excellent defense in center field to rob Miami of a couple of extra-base hits.

On the other hand for Toronto, soft contact was the source of their offense. Tanner Scott was the new arm out of Miami’s bullpen in the eighth inning and the Blue Jays drew first. After Scott struck out the first batter of the inning, Santiago Espinal doubled to left field. Ernie Clement followed that up with a bloop single over Luis Arraez at second base to bring Espinal for a 1-0 Blue Jays lead.

Toronto’s lineup flipped over and up came George Springer. The former Astros outfielder drove in Clement on a broken bat single over Wendle at shortstop. With two poorly hit but perfectly placed singles, the Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead which was more than plenty of run support tonight.

The rubber match tomorrow features what many expect to be another pitcher’s duel with two aces squaring off. The series will be decided with 2022 Cy Young Award Winner Sandy Alcantara versus 2021 All-Star Kevin Gausman. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. ET

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