Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th has not been kind to the Toronto Blue Jays over the years. In fact, entering tonight’s action, the Jays had posted an overall record of 10-16 in games played on this infamous of days.

It all started during the Jays’ second month as a franchise. On May 13, 1977, Toronto took their 14-17 record into Minnesota to open a three-game series against the Twins. Trailing 3-1 in the eighth, the Blue Jays scored twice in the inning, knotting the score at three runs apiece. The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 11th when, fittingly, Toronto would get hit with some bad luck. After a Roy Smalley walk and a Rod Carew single, pitcher Mike Willis committed an error on Butch Wynegar’s sacrifice bunt, which loaded the bases. Jerry Johnson came on in relief and promptly got Craig Kusick to ground into the 1-2-3 double play, leaving runners on second and third with two out. Unfortunately, Johnson followed up his nifty double play with a wild pitch, which scored Carew from third to give the Twins a 4-3 win.

The Blue Jays’ worst streak of Friday the 13th games occurred between 1991-2001, as Toronto lost all five games during that span. Here are some other highlights from over the years …

  • The Jays’ second ever Friday the 13th game — April 13, 1979 — was shortened after a 1:11 rain delay at Exhibition Stadium. Toronto won that contest, 4-1, in six innings over the visiting Kansas City Royals.
  • On September 13, 1985, knuckleballer Phil Niekro tosses a complete game for New York at Yankee Stadium, but the Blue Jays win the game 3-2.
  • Melido Perez tosses a complete-game three-hitter, as the White Sox down the Blue Jays, 3-1, at Comiskey Park on May 13, 1988.
  • On Friday 13, 1990, Jim Abbott and Todd Stottlemyre both hurl complete-game four hitters. However, Abbott’s is a shutout, and the California Angels earn a 2-0 home victory over the Jays.
  • Toronto drops identical 5-3 contests against the Red Sox in back-to-back Friday the 13th contests at Fenway Park (August 13, 1993 & May 13, 1994)
  • Chris Michalak, the feel-good story of 2001, makes his second career Major League start on April 13, and earns a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals at SkyDome.
  • With the Jays ahead 2-1 in the seventh (July 13, 2001) against the Phillies, Bob File comes on to pitch and promptly gives up a pair of singles that give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead. Then in the eighth, File serves up a two-run homer to Scott Rolen, making it 5-2. File immediately plunks Travis Lee, and gets ejected along with Toronto manager Buck Martinez.
  • In the first ever game between the Blue Jays and Chicago CUbs (June 13, 2003), Kelvim Escobar picks up the win (and strikes out 10 batters) in a 5-1 Toronto victory.
  • On April 13, 2007, Roy Halladay tosses 10 innings to record a complete-game victory, as the Blue Jays down the Tigers by a 2-1 margin.

May 13, 1977 @ Metropolitan Stadium
L 4-3 (11) against Minnesota

April 13, 1979 @ Exhibition Stadium
W 4-1 against Kansas City

July 13, 1979 @ Exhibition Stadium
L 6-4 against Minnesota

June 13, 1980 @ Exhibition Stadium
L 6-3 against Texas

August 13, 1982 @ County Stadium
L 3-1 against Milwaukee

May 13, 1983 @ Cleveland Stadium
L 5-1 against Cleveland

April 13, 1984 @ Arlington Stadium
W 3-2 against Texas

July 13, 1984 @ Oakland-Alameda County Stadium
W 6-3 against Oakland

September 13, 1985 @ Yankee Stadium
W 3-2 against New York

June 13, 1986 @ Exhibition Stadium
L 10-5 against Detroit

May 13, 1988 @ Comiskey Park
L 4-1 against White Sox

April 13, 1990 @ Royals Stadium
W 3-1 against Kansas City

July 13, 1990 @ Anaheim Stadium
L 2-0 against California

September 13, 1991 @ SkyDome
W 7-6 against Oakland

August 13, 1993 @ Fenway Park
L 5-3 against Boston

May 13, 1994 @ Fenway Park
L 5-3 against Boston

September 13, 1996 @ SkyDome
L 4-1 against New York

June 13, 1997 @ Veterans Stadium
L 4-3 against Philadelphia

August 13, 1999 @ SkyDome
L 9-8 against Oakland

April 13, 2001 @ Skydome
W 2-1 against Kansas City

July 13, 2001 @ Veterans Stadium
L 5-2 against Philadelphia

September 13, 2002 @ SkyDome
W 5-2 against Tampa Bay

June 13, 2003 @ SkyDome
W 5-1 against Chicago Cubs

August 13, 2004 @ SKyDome
L 4-0 against Baltimore

May 13, 2005 @ Jacobs Field
L 6-4 against Cleveland

April 13, 2007 @ Rogers Centre
W 2-1 against Detroit

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