Other than homers, staff off to good start

Other than homers, staff off to good start

Other than homers, staff off to good start
BALTIMORE -- Toronto's pitching staff has gotten off to an impressive start, but there's at least one category in which the club would rather not be among the league leaders.

Despite having surrendered the second fewest hits (137) in the American League, the Blue Jays entered Thursday tied with Boston for the second most home runs (27) allowed.

It's a rather odd stat, but manager John Farrell has a couple of reasons for the discrepancy.

"We've got some guys with some power in their stuff and if a pitch is mislocated on the plate, they supply some of that power," Farrell said. "We've missed some location up in the strike zone at times, but I look at the overall number of runs we've allowed and we're sitting there with a solid team ERA.

"In addition, we've turned a high number of double plays. I think when guys realize, the opposition realizes, we're going to throw strikes, we're going to challenge the strike zone. Hopefully the vast majority of home runs have been solo home runs where they don't put a crooked number on the scoreboard."

Even with those home runs, Toronto's pitchers have been an early strength for the club. The rotation ranked fifth in the AL with 10 quality starts and fourth with 115 2/3 innings.

Entering Thursday, the starters had pitched at least five innings in 20 consecutive outings dating back to 2011. That was the second longest streak in the Majors -- ranking behind the White Sox, who have 23.