Thames takes series-opening loss hard

Thames takes series-opening loss hard

BALTIMORE -- Lots of people inside the Blue Jays' clubhouse were surprised at how hard Eric Thames took Tuesday night's 2-1 loss to the Orioles, but manager John Farrell wasn't among them.

Thames sat motionless by his locker after the narrow defeat and shouldered most of the blame in an interview later that night with reporters.

The reason behind the internal finger pointing was that Thames attempted to make a leaping catch at the wall during the fourth inning, but instead knocked the ball over the fence in what turned out to be a game-winning home run by Matt Wieters.

Nobody blamed Thames for the loss -- or even for not making the difficult running catch -- but Farrell wasn't caught off-guard by Thames taking the result with so much difficulty.

"As hard as he works and as committed as he is to his craft, [it's] not surprising," Farrell said. "Guys respond differently and in that case, he obviously took it hard. It ends up being the difference in [Tuesday] night's game, which at the time you wouldn't think that would be the case.

"But I thought he made one heck of an effort to get to the ball and unfortunately certain things came together at the right time, where the deflection ends up being a home run and the difference in the ballgame."

Thames' attempted grab came during the same game in which he hit his first homer of the year. The mammoth home run landed on Eutaw St., which is located behind the gates in right field. Thames became just the 58th player to accomplish that feat in Camden Yards' history.

That represented Thames' third extra-base hit in 15 games this season and the Blue Jays hope he can ignore the defensive play and ride some of the offensive momentum through the rest of the week.

"The most important thing is if any player can look themselves in the mirror and know they gave everything they had in between the lines on a given night," Farrell said. "There's never been any question that Eric does that. I think the most important thing is to not get too beat up mentally because of it.

"That's just the type of person he is, he plays the game very hard and he does whatever he can to prepare himself to contribute in the course of the game."