Valdez out­du­els hot trade bait Gray

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - NEIL DAVID­SON

Un­her­alded Ce­sar Valdez recorded his first ma­jor­league win in more than seven years Tues­day as the Toronto Blue Jays de­feated the Oak­land Ath­let­ics, 4-1, in Amer­i­can League base­ball ac­tion.

The 32-year-old right-han­der from the Do­mini­can Repub­lic ex­ited to a stand­ing ova­tion af­ter yield­ing a dou­ble to open the sev­enth be­fore an an­nounced crowd of 40,624, with the Rogers Cen­tre roof open on a pleas­ant night for base­ball.

Fill­ing in for the in­jured Aaron Sanchez, Valdez (1-0) gave up one run on five hits with four strike­outs and one walk in a sur­pris­ingly smooth 77-pitch out­ing fea­tur­ing 51 strikes.

Valdez stole the spot­light from Oak­land starter Sonny Gray, with scouts on hand eye­ing the 27-yearold Ath­let­ics right-han­der ahead of Mon­day’s non-waiver trade dead­line. Gray (6-5) ar­rived hav­ing gone 4-1 with a 1.62 earned-run av­er­age and .155 op­po­nents’ bat­ting av­er­age in his pre­vi­ous five starts.

Valdez took the mound with many won­der­ing who he was. He likely had peo­ple look­ing him up af­ter need­ing just four pitches to get back to the dugout.

Gray was done-in by four un­earned runs in a sec­ond in­ning that saw eight Jays come to the plate. Troy Tu­low­itzki’s ground­out, Ryan Goins’ two-RBI dou­ble and Jose Bautista’s dou­ble did the dam­age in a wob­bly 32-pitch in­ning for Gray, who did not help his cause with a costly throw­ing er­ror.

Toronto (46-54) won back-to­back home games for the first time since May 29-31 when they won a se­ries over Cincin­nati.

Both teams had six hits.

Valdez’s base­ball jour­ney has taken him from Ari­zona to Pitts­burgh, Florida, Toronto, Hous­ton, Oak­land and Toronto again with a stop in the Mex­i­can league and a year out of base­ball along the way.

His only other win came in his ma­jor-league de­but May 3, 2010, for Ari­zona over Hous­ton. He spent most of his ca­reer in the mi­nors, with 252 games, 193 starts and an 82-62 record. His ma­jor-league ac­count now stands at 18 games, four starts and a 2-2 record.

MARK BLINCH, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Ce­sar Valdez pitched six in­nings, al­low­ing five hits and a run, in a 4-1 Jays win.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.