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Gose, Pillar help teach kids about value of nutrition

Blue Jays outfielders, mascot ACE visited area public school on Thursday

Gose, Pillar help teach kids about value of nutrition

Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar became the heroes of Wednesday night's wild walk-off finish against the Tampa Bay Rays. After a great bunt in the bottom of the 9th inning by Gose that lead to a throwing error, Pillar came all the way around from first base to score to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 victory.

That play was certainly the talk of Sarah Cain's classroom at Bowmore Public School, which Gose and Pillar visited Thursday morning as part of the "Jays in the Classroom" initiative. The program focuses on the importance of healthy living among school-aged children.

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The theme of the visit was "Healthy Lunches," and the students were treated to a catered lunch along with gifts from the team, including a Blue Jays water bottle, lunch container, cap and nutrition guide.

"We eat something healthy like this every day to help us get through the games," Pillar said to the class in reference to their lunch.

Gose, Pillar and Blue Jays mascot ACE sat with the students at their tables during a nutrition lesson taught by registered dietician Jennifer Sygo. The students would learn about the importance of water, protein, carbohydrates and fats in our daily diet.

"Turkey burger with guacamole and a smoothie," replied Pillar when asked what healthy foods he eats on game day. "There's not a lot of temptation in the clubhouse with unhealthy foods. Our strength and conditioning coach does a good job of keeping us eating right."

"There's a lot of fruit to eat," Gose chimed in. "I snack on it throughout the day before a game."

After learning about proper nutrition, the class was given a chance to ask the two outfielders questions about baseball. Some of the students were interested to know which players the two looked up to when they were growing up.

"Mike Piazza and Cal Ripken," replied the Los Angeles native Pillar. "I also looked up to Adrian Beltre, who still is playing and that I've been lucky enough to play against."

Gose explained that he idolized players like Kenny Lofton and Carl Crawford -- fast outfielders like himself.

Another question for the two was about which current pitchers they don't like to face. "I don't like facing Max Scherzer from Detroit," Gose said, shaking his head. "We'll see if I see him next week when we play down there."

"Kansas City pitcher James Shields is difficult to hit off of," Pillar added. The Blue Jays faced Shields on Thursday night, but Pillar wasn't in the starting lineup against the KC ace.

The class had a chance to take photos with the players and ACE as well as get a few autographs on their Blue Jays caps before Gose and Pillar had to get back to Rogers Centre to prepare for the night's game.

"We're excited to be part of a winning team," said Pillar of the team's recent success. "Our coaches have put us in the best position to succeed and help this team win."

Winning hasn't been a problem for the team in May, and the Blue Jays have once again become the talk of the town.

Jon Cram is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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