Former Pitt pitcher T.J. Zeuch made the first start of his MLB career on Tuesday night, taking the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays as they hosted the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. Zeuch made his MLB debut in relief of Wilmer Font against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on Sept. 3, but Tuesday was his first home game since his call-up.
Over 4.1 innings of work, Zeuch struck out one batter and gave up six hits, three walks and three earned runs. One of those earned runs was given up on Zeuch’s first pitch of the game, when Mookie Betts launched a 381-foot home run to put the Red Sox up 1-0. However, Zeuch was able to recover from the inauspicious start and got some support from Toronto's bats.
Reese McGuire, Cavan Biggio and Rowdy Tellez all homered in the game, ultimately furnishing the Blue Jays with four runs. That would be enough to top the Red Sox, who scored on a ground-rule double by J.D. Martinez and a subsequent single by Andrew Benintendi that also drove in a run, giving them three total.
Zeuch’s performance on Tuesday represented a step down from his debut, as he gave up one more earned run than he did in his last game and struck out three fewer batsmen. He also gave up three more hits and an additional walk compared to his last time out.
With that said, Zeuch did not allow early mistakes to define either of his outings, and the pressure to win is off for a Blue Jays team that currently sits at 56-89. So it stands to reason that Zeuch, Toronto’s first-round pick in 2016, could remain with the big-league club for the remainder of the season for further evaluation.