Stroman celebrates in style with shutdown start

Turning 25, Blue Jays ace whiffs career-high 9 in rubber-game victory

Stroman celebrates in style with shutdown start

ST. PETERSBURG -- With the offense struggling, Marcus Stroman took matters into his own hands and single-handedly gave the Blue Jays a chance to escape with a series victory at Tropicana Field.

Stroman celebrated his 25th birthday by providing a present of his own with a career-high nine strikeouts in a 5-1 win over the Rays on Sunday afternoon. He allowed one run on three hits and walked just two in his best outing of the year.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays' 4-run ninth boosts dominant Stroman

Blue Jays' 4-run ninth boosts dominant Stroman

ST. PETERSBURG -- Marcus Stroman had a career-high nine strikeouts over eight dominant innings, while Darwin Barney had a key pinch-hit double in a four-run ninth inning as the Blue Jays survived with a 5-1 victory over the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

Stroman, who was celebrating his 25th birthday, enjoyed his best start of the year despite pitching with no margin for error during most of the outing. He scattered three hits and walked just two, with his only mistake coming in the sixth on a solo homer by Evan Longoria.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Barney provides Blue Jays with late spark

Utility infielder delivers pinch-hit double, scores go-ahead run

Barney provides Blue Jays with late spark

ST. PETERSBURG -- Darwin Barney does not get a lot of opportunities, but he made the most of the one he got Sunday afternoon against the Rays.

The seldom-used utility infielder provided the spark the Blue Jays had been so desperately looking for with a leadoff double in the ninth inning. The extra-base hit sparked a four-run frame as Toronto claimed a 5-1 victory at Tropicana Field.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After tough April, Dickey faces Texas in first May start

After tough April, Dickey faces Texas in first May start

Most of the characters will be the same as the Rangers and Blue Jays resume the rivalry that grew intense during last year's American League Division Series, when Toronto won three consecutive elimination games, including an epic Game 5, to shock Texas.

But Monday's spotlight will also shine on someone who wasn't around last postseason: Rangers righty A.J. Griffin, who will make his fifth start as the fill-in fifth starter until Yu Darvish is ready to return. Griffin is 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA and is coming off a win over the Yankees in which he tossed eight innings of one-run ball.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers by Bautista, Pillar not enough vs. Rays

Homers by Bautista, Pillar not enough vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Curt Casali's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave the Rays a 4-3 walk-off win over the Blue Jays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Brad Miller led off the ninth with an infield single off Brett Cecil and moved to third on Kevin Kiermaier's double to right. Casali then laced a 3-1 offering into left to give the Rays the win.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cecil's struggles resurface in loss to Rays

Left-hander finishes month of April with 0-5 record

Cecil's struggles resurface in loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Everything seemed to go right for left-hander Brett Cecil in 2015. This year, it seems like everything possible has gone wrong.

Cecil dropped to 0-5 in the month of April after he surrendered a walk-off single to Tampa Bay's Curt Casali in Toronto's 4-3 loss on Saturday night. Cecil surrendered hits to all three batters he faced as the Blue Jays lost for the fourth time in five games.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martin expected to avoid DL for neck spasms

Injury contributing to 33-year-old catcher's struggles at the plate

Martin expected to avoid DL for neck spasms

ST. PETERSBURG -- Russell Martin is not going to require a stint on the 15-day disabled list, but he's also not ready to play every day because of a lingering neck issue.

Martin has been in and out of the lineup over the last week because of neck spasms. He was initially held out of Saturday night's 4-3 loss to the Rays, but he did enter in the bottom of the ninth inning as a defensive replacement.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aaron's party: Sanchez shines behind 4 HRs

Aaron's party: Sanchez shines behind 4 HRs

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Blue Jays clubbed four solo home runs -- two by Michael Saunders -- in support of a stingy Aaron Sanchez on Friday night en route to a 6-1 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Saunders homered to center field off Drew Smyly with two outs in the third to put the Blue Jays up 1-0. Josh Donaldson added a solo home run off the C-Ring catwalk with two outs in the sixth to push the lead to 2-0. That was all the damage the Blue Jays could inflict against Smyly, but it was enough as he took his third loss of the season.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy Saunders a blessing for Blue Jays

Healthy Saunders a blessing for Blue Jays

ST. PETERSBURG -- If the early results are any indication, the Blue Jays should be very thankful they never ended up trading Michael Saunders as part of a three-team deal this spring.

Saunders, who homered twice in Friday's 6-1 victory over the Rays, was nearly sent packing in a trade that would have seen veteran outfielder Jay Bruce join Toronto. The deal fell apart at the last minute, and that might have been a good thing, because Saunders is performing well and he comes at a fraction of the cost.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sinker could make Sanchez elite

Sinker could make Sanchez elite

ST. PETERSBURG -- Whenever Aaron Sanchez takes the mound, there seems to be a watchlist surrounding around his command, but it's the quality of strikes that might matter more than anything else.

Prior to Friday night's 6-1 victory over the Rays, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons talked at length about the issue of location. The walks weren't to blame for Sanchez getting roughed up in his last start, but the location of his sinkers in the zone.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Travis takes next step in road to recovery

Infielder has five at-bats Friday in extended spring training game

Travis takes next step in road to recovery

ST. PETERSBURG -- Devon Travis made his long-awaited return to the field on Friday afternoon by taking five at-bats in an extended spring training game.

Travis did not play second base, but he expects to take that next step at some point next week. It's still not clear when Travis would begin an official rehab assignment, but he's on the right track.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Travis step into starting role?

Inbox: Will Travis step into starting role?

What do you think will happen when Devon Travis comes back? Is second base his spot, or does he have to outperform Ryan Goins to get it back?
-- Ryan T.

Second base belongs to Goins, and while that could eventually change, Travis will need to earn his spot on the field. The 25-year-old Travis hasn't played since last July because of left shoulder surgery, and once he returns to a full workload, Travis will need to post some strong numbers before he can be seriously considered.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibbons tossed as Blue Jays drop finale

Gibbons tossed as Blue Jays drop finale

TORONTO -- Dioner Navarro got some revenge against his former team with a two-run triple in the top of the seventh inning, as the White Sox came out on top, 4-0, over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre. The win clinched a sweep for Chicago, which has now won six consecutive games.

Chicago and Toronto were locked into a tight pitchers' duel until the seventh, when Navarro broke the scoreless deadlock with a triple to the gap in right-center field. It was Navarro's fourth hit of the series and his fourth RBI against the team he spent the last two years with prior to signing with Chicago during the offseason.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays on pace for dubious K's record

Toronto struck out 13 times in Wednesday's loss to White Sox

Blue Jays on pace for dubious K's record

TORONTO -- The lack of contact from the Blue Jays' lineup is starting to become a concern with the club on pace to register the most strikeouts in franchise history.

Toronto struck out 13 times during a 4-0 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre. It was the 11th time in 23 games this season the Blue Jays' hitters reached double digits in strikeouts.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays promote Tepera; option Venditte

Blue Jays promote Tepera; option Venditte

The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Ryan Tepera on Wednesday from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned switch-pitcher Pat Venditte.

In eight games for the Bisons this year, Tepera allowed seven earned runs in 8 2/3 innings. He appeared in 32 games for the Blue Jays last season, posting a 3.27 ERA in 33 innings.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey, sleepy bats can't overcome Sox in loss

Dickey, sleepy bats can't overcome Sox in loss

TORONTO -- Chris Sale dominated the powerful Blue Jays lineup by allowing just one run over eight innings and Avisail Garcia, Dioner Navarro and Adam Eaton each homered as the White Sox picked up their fifth consecutive victory with a 10-1 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Sale allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two while throwing 63 of his 100 pitches for strikes as he earned his Major League-leading fifth win. Toronto's Darwin Barney led off the third inning with a single, but from that point on Sale faced the minimum until Edwin Encarnacion homered with one out in the seventh.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Tuesday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tulo's error marks end of impressive streak

Shortstop had yet to have defensive miscue in 59 games with Blue Jays

Tulo's error marks end of impressive streak

TORONTO -- It was bound to happen at some point, but Troy Tulowitzki finally committed his first fielding error while wearing a Blue Jays uniform.

The streak ended when Chicago leadoff hitter Adam Eaton hit a sharp one-hopper to short in the first inning of the Blue Jays' 10-1 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday. Tulowitzki did not have to move very far, but the ball bounced off his glove and rolled away, allowing Eaton to reach first.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colabello comments on 80-game suspension

First baseman maintains no knowledge of how substance entered his system

Colabello comments on 80-game suspension

TORONTO -- Chris Colabello reiterated in a television interview on Tuesday that he has no idea how a banned substance entered his system, and he said that he will continue to search for the source of what triggered his positive test.

Colabello spoke on Tuesday for the first time since he received an 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid also known as Oral Turinabol.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays recall Dominguez; option Hutchison

Four-year infielder offers platoon partner for Smoak at first base

Blue Jays recall Dominguez; option Hutchison

TORONTO -- Matt Dominguez is back in the big leagues after a two-year absence, and if he plays his cards right, the 26-year-old might stick around for the long haul.

Toronto promoted Dominguez from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Tuesday night's game against the White Sox. He technically takes the spot of right-hander Drew Hutchison, who was optioned to the Minors in a corresponding move, but in reality this is the replacement for Chris Colabello.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stroman sharp but late rally sinks Blue Jays

Stroman sharp but late rally sinks Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The White Sox scored five runs and sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh inning to steal a game away from the Blue Jays with a 7-5 victory on Monday night at Rogers Centre. Chicago has now won four consecutive games.

Adam Eaton and Jimmy Rollins had RBI singles in the seventh before veteran third baseman Todd Frazier delivered the decisive blow with a bases-loaded double to left, which scored two. In a matter of minutes, Chicago went from what seemed like an inevitable loss to putting the finishes touches on its 14th win of the season.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Faltering bullpen an issue for Blue Jays

Toronto's relievers lead AL in losses, percentage of inherited runners scored

Faltering bullpen an issue for Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays appear to have a major issue on their hands with a struggling bullpen, and they will need to figure it out quickly.

Toronto had yet another late-inning meltdown Monday night as Brett Cecil entered in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs but could not retire any of the three batters he faced. Gavin Floyd then made matters worse by surrendering a go-ahead double, and just like that, a four-run lead turned into a 7-5 loss to the White Sox.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Navarro reminisces in return to Toronto

Catcher fondly recalls excitement of Blue Jays' playoff push in 2015

Navarro reminisces in return to Toronto

TORONTO -- Monday's series opener between the Blue Jays and White Sox has some special meaning for Chicago catcher Dioner Navarro.

Navarro, a late addition to Monday's lineup after Kevan Smith was scratched with back spasms prior to the game, spent the past two seasons with the Blue Jays and made his return to Toronto for the first time since signing with the White Sox in the offseason.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays bit by minor injury bug

Donaldson, Tulowitzki and Martin among players with nagging ailments

Blue Jays bit by minor injury bug

TORONTO -- The list of injuries continues to expand for the Blue Jays, but the good news is that none of the nagging ailments appear to be something that will turn into long-term concerns.

Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin and Michael Saunders are among those currently playing at less than 100 percent. Despite that discouraging news, Martin was the only one held out of the lineup Monday night against the White Sox.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hutchison wins debut vs. A's; Bautista homers

Hutchison wins debut vs. A's; Bautista homers

TORONTO -- A four-run third inning that featured Ezequiel Carrera's first homer of the season fueled the Blue Jays, who also got a two-run blast from Jose Bautista, to a 6-3 victory over the A's for a series win on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Carrera finished with two hits and a walk to cap a three-game series in which he totaled seven hits from the top of the order, aiding a strong performance from right-hander Drew Hutchison, who delivered 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in a spot start for Toronto.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays full of All-Star candidates in 2016

Blue Jays full of All-Star candidates in 2016

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson set the record for most votes in All-Star Game history last year, and he has a chance to do it again, but it won't be easy. There's a lot of big-name competition, including some from his own team.

Donaldson headlines an impressive list of Blue Jays on the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which also includes outfielder Jose Bautista, designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and catcher Russell Martin. The group has made a combined 19 appearances at the Midsummer Classic.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tulo's two solo homers bode well for season

After slow start, shortstop finding rhythm at plate

Tulo's two solo homers bode well for season

TORONTO -- Everybody needs a break every now and then. Just ask Troy Tulowitzki.

Tulowitzki received the day off on Friday, but he returned to the lineup the following afternoon in a big way. The All-Star shortstop had his first multi-homer game of the season in the Blue Jays' 9-3 victory over the A's.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ezequiel 4:5 -- fourth outfielder has career day

At plate and in outfield, Carrera righteous for Blue Jays

Ezequiel 4:5 -- fourth outfielder has career day

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays received a spark from the unlikeliest of sources in Saturday's victory over the A's, with backup outfielder Ezequiel Carrera making his presence felt on both sides of the ball.

Filling in at leadoff and left field for the injured Michael Saunders, Carrera went 4-for-5 and made a pair of fantastic catches to help Toronto defeat Oakland, 9-3, and snap its three-game losing streak.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.