|6:45 PM PT7:45 PM MT8:45 PM CT9:45 PM ET21:45 ET1:45 GMT9:45 6:45 PM MST8:45 PM EST9:15 PM VEN5:45 UAE (+1)8:45 PM CT, May 14, 2019
Oracle Park, San Francisco, California Attendance: 31,230
Jays' Thornton gets another shot at first win vs. Giants
Toronto Blue Jays at San Francisco Giants
- San Francisco's only series win on the road this season was a two-game sweep at Toronto from April 23-24. The Giants have since gone 6-9 overall, including a 3-6 record at home while batting .226.
- The only season of the past two decades in which Toronto has had a worse record through 40 games was 15-25 in 2002 - manager Buck Martinez was fired two weeks later.
- The Giants have been outscored 42-5 in the first inning this season, a -37 run differential which is easily the worst in the majors (Miami is next at -23). San Francisco has given up 22 first-inning runs in its last nine games.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has yet to score a run through 13 major league games; his longest stretch without scoring a run in the minors was eight games in 2016. He's failed to drive in a run in six straight games; the only longer RBI drought Guerrero had in the minors was a nine-game stretch in 2016.
- Pablo Sandoval homered in both games at Toronto last month and is a career .315 hitter versus the Blue Jays, his highest average against any AL opponent. Sandoval is 12-for-35 (.343) with four homers against right-handers since April 20, and Toronto is scheduled to start righty Trent Thornton on Tuesday.
- Toronto ranks at the bottom of MLB in many offensive categories this month, including a .186 batting average and 1.91 runs per game. The worst marks in franchise history for May both came in 1981 -- a .217 batting average and 3.25 runs per game.
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The Toronto Blue Jays, swept by the Giants in a two-game interleague series three weeks ago, get a rematch with a two-game series that starts Tuesday in San Francisco.
The Giants made center fielder Kevin Pillar's return to Toronto a happy one, beginning their stay with a 7-6 win over Trent Thornton (0-4, 5.06 ERA), a pitcher they will see again Tuesday night.
Joe Panik homered and the Giants roughed up the 25-year-old Thornton for four runs and six hits in five innings in a game that featured three more San Francisco homers -- by Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt and Pablo Sandoval -- against the Toronto bullpen.
Pillar went 1-for-4, scored a run and drove in another in the game, which was his first at Toronto since an in-season trade to the Giants for Alen Hanson, Derek Law and minor-leaguer Juan De Paula.
Thornton has since made three more starts, including two good ones, but remains winless in eight career starts. Against the Minnesota Twins in his most recent outing on Wednesday, he allowed five runs and seven hits in just two innings.
Pillar got the ultimate show of respect -- an intentional walk -- when the Giants made it a sweep at Toronto with a 4-0 win. Pillar also contributed a double to the win.
The Giants have since gone just 6-9, failing to take advantage of seven games against the Cincinnati Reds (going 3-4) as well as nine of 15 at home (3-6).
On Tuesday, the Giants will join a modern trend for the first time, employing an "opener" on the mound. Nick Vincent (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will pitch the first inning or two.
The numbers indicate that the Giants' rotation isn't getting the job done in the early going, as San Francisco has been outscored 42-5 in the first inning this year and 22-13 in the second.
"I know the opener's come up," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said on Friday, according to the San Francisco Examiner. "We've tried different things. ... We're looking at (the run differential) more as an aberration than anything."
After Vincent, it's possible the Giants could go back to their previously scheduled starter, Tyler Beede (0-1, 18.69 ERA).
Beede made his season debut May 3 as a starter, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits over 2 1/3 innings in a 12-11 win at Cincinnati. He then appeared as a reliever, giving up two runs in two innings at Colorado on Thursday.
Vincent has made 14 appearances this year, all in relief. He has made just one start in 366 major league games, when he pitched two scoreless innings for the Seattle Mariners against the Houston Astros on Aug. 21, 2018.
The right-hander has lasted more than two innings on three occasions this season, with a high of three innings (twice). Vincent's last two outings encompassed 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Vincent is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in eight career appearances against the Blue Jays, who have never faced Beede.
The Giants' pitchers will look to extend the early-season slump of ballyhooed Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is hitting just .191 with one RBI through his first 47 at-bats.
He is still looking for his first home run, and now gets his cracks at a ballpark in which his dad hit .351 with two homers in 22 games.
"His approach right now is outstanding," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters over the weekend. "He's fine at the plate. He's locked in right now. He's seeing the pitches pretty good."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 13, 2019