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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 9, 2024 5:48 am

Jays, settling into renovated park, face Mariners again

Blue Jays, mariners

Justin Turner might as well have been speaking for everyone in the Toronto Blue Jays’ sprawling new home clubhouse Monday at Rogers Centre.

“The 10-day road trip,” Turner said, “felt more like a month.”

The Blue Jays had to play their first 10 games of the season on the road while the finishing touches were being put on their $400 million ballpark renovation.

They quickly took to their new digs, beating the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Monday as Jose Berrios pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings. The teams continue their three-game series on Tuesday.

The expanded clubhouses were only part of the changes as the Blue Jays attempted to change a multipurpose stadium into a ballpark. Field-level seats behind the plate were added, the dugouts were moved closer to the field and a new turf playing surface was installed.

Team president Mark Shapiro promised a “significant ‘wow’ factor,” and it didn’t disappoint.

“I haven’t seen it all,” Turner admitted. “I don’t know how long it will take to see it all.”

Added teammate Ernie Clement: “I’ll be lost walking around here for a few days. I think we all are.”

The Blue Jays scored runs in the second, third and fourth innings against Seattle ace Luis Castillo, and Berrios coasted from there.

“All the hard work that we put into the offseason, now we’re seeing it out there on the field,” Berrios said after the Blue Jays snapped a two-game losing streak.

J.P. Crawford and Cal Raleigh hit solo homers in the last two innings for Seattle, which has dropped two games in a row and five of the past six.

“We’re not putting a full game together, either on the mound or at the plate,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “You’re not going to win many games unless you start doing that.”

Mariners first baseman Ty France was activated from the paternity list and went 3-for-4.

“He looks a little tired,” Servais joked. “But you know, he’s got the dad strength now, dad muscles or whatever you want to call them. Hopefully he plays on a little adrenaline. It’s good to have him back. Obviously, he was swinging the bat really well before he left. Everything’s good there. And he’s ready to get back after it.”

The Tuesday game is scheduled to feature a pair of right-handers, Seattle’s George Kirby (1-1, 5.23 ERA) and Toronto’s Chris Bassitt (0-2, 7.71).

After throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his first start of the season while beating the Boston Red Sox 1-0 on March 29, Kirby was tagged for eight runs (six earned) on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings on Wednesday in an 8-0 loss to the Cleveland Guardians. Kirby has made one previous start against Toronto, back in 2022, when he gave up two runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Bassitt has given up four earned runs in each of his first two starts of the season and has yet to go beyond five innings. On Wednesday, he allowed nine hits in 4 1/3 innings at Houston in an 8-0 loss. Bassitt is 1-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 16 career appearances (14 starts) against Seattle.

–Field Level Media

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