With one out in the first inning, San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro drifted to his left to settle under a flare knocked into shallow right field off the bat of Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger.
The ball hit Scurato right where he wanted – in his glove – and then popped out and onto the artificial turf for an embarrassing error.
Scutaro would soon have company in which to commiserate.
After Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong issued a walk to Edwin Encarnacion, up stepped J.P. Arencibia to the plate and he lashed a line drive to centre field that Angel Pagan appeared to have a bead on.
Appearances can be deceiving for the Giants these days.
The ball glanced off Pagan’s glove for another San Francisco fielding gaffe that allowed the first two Toronto runs to score.
Adam Lind then followed with a two-run home run and this laugher was in full bloom for the 32,863 fans who turned up and celebrated with the roof wide open on a glorious spring night.
For the second consecutive game the defending World Series champion Giants (23-17) resembled the gang that couldn’t see straight.
Their errant ways made things ridiculously easy for the Blue Jays, who rolled to an 11-3 victory at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night.
With the victory the Blue Jays have won a series at home for the first time this year after going 0-5-1.
After a disastrous start to the major-league baseball season, the Blue Jays (17-24) have finally started to swing some mean sticks of late, their lopsided win over the Giants representing their fourth in a row, the first time they have reached that plateau this year.
In sweeping the mini two-game set, the Blue Jays made the Giants look like a Triple-A team on an off night.
In Tuesday’s opener, which the Blue Jays won 10-6, the Giants committed two errors as the Blue Jays batted around for six runs in the first inning.
It was almost comical to watch, but Bruce Bochy, the Giants manager, said there was nothing funny about it.
“We try not to laugh about it that night,” Bochy said before Wednesday’s game. “I was going to take the [pitching] staff out and all of them bailed on me, they were in such a bad mood.”
It was deja vu all over again on Wednesday, with the Blue Jays sending nine men to the plate and scoring five runs, all unearned thanks to the fielding follies of Scutaro and Pagan.
For the Blue Jays, it marked the first time they have batted around in the first inning in consecutive games since April, 1994, when they ripped Seattle and then Oakland.
The Blue Jays have now scored 33 runs on 41 hits over their last three games.
Toronto will now enjoy an off day on Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend series in New York against the American League East-leading Yankees.
Everybody in the starting nine for the Blue Jays, save for Munenori Kawasaki, recorded at least a hit.
Melky Cabrera, who has been on a tear of late with the bat, doubled in three official at-bats and has now hit safely in 10 of Toronto’s last 12 games.
Before the game, the Jays said that an MRI exam on Cabrera’s legs, which have bothered him most of the year, did not reveal any significant issues.
The tests show that Cabrera has a right quadriceps irritation and a left hamstring irritation but won’t have to miss any playing time as long as his pain tolerance holds up.
After conceding five runs in the first inning to fall behind 5-1 you would have thought the Giants had put the worst behind them.
That wasn’t the case as the Jays tagged on three more in the second, an inning that started when Giants right fielder Hunter Pence butchered a line shot by Lind, allowing the ball to fly over his head for a double.
Bautista then followed with a hard grounder up the middle that Scutaro let slide beneath his glove for another Toronto run.
Arencibia then whacked Toronto’s second home run of the game, a two-run skyscraper to the second deck in left, that brought the score to 8-0.
It all made for a rather leisurely night for Ramon Ortiz, making his second spot start for the Blue Jays.
Ortiz did what he had to do – put the ball across the plate – and he worked a solid seven innings, allowing one Giants run off six hits.
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