He held the Blue Jays to five hits in six scoreless innings in a no decision on September 1, then allowed five hits and five runs in three innings in a loss to the New York Yankees six days later.
If Joe Biagini could bottle what he brings to the mound when he faces the Baltimore Orioles, the Jays might be looking at a guy they could put in the rotation for the entire 2018 season no questions asked.
On Tuesday, Baltimore made it 1-1 in the seventh thanks to a Mark Trumbo RBI single, and the O's thought they had taken the lead for good in the next inning on the back of a Tim Beckham solo shot. He finished the inning but with his team trailing and did not pitch the ninth. "Go back the last few years, every team he's on ... normally goes to the playoffs". The right-hander struck out two and did not factor in the decision.
Granted there is still time both for the Jays to access his potential in the starting role and for Biagini to make what would appear to be necessary adjustments if he is to join the rotation full time, but at this point it does not appear to be a likely bet.
The Jays climb to 68-77 and extend their winning streak to four games.
The Blue Jays had leadoff hits in each of the first three innings but did not capitalize until the third when Luke Maile singled and scored on a two-out double by Smoak on a drive that eluded the leap at the wall by right fielder Joey Rickard.
O's starter Dylan Bundy did not figure in the decision but he seemed inches away all night from taking the loss.
This is Martin's third year catching for the Blue Jays. For the second time this season, Baltimore Orioles catcher Wellington Castillo couldn't manage to be on the receiving end of a foul tipped-ball in the worst possible spot.
Monday night it was Dominic Leone's turn and he got the job done with a scoreless ninth to protect a 4-3 win.
"Russ is a difference maker", Gibbons said.
Each of Toronto's last four saves heading into Tuesday's game have come from different relieves.
It was another close game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on Tuesday, and it looked like the visitors would take the victory, but a late rally gave the home team a 3-2 win.
Martin has been a 20 home run and 70 RBI each of his first two seasons with Toronto, but it remains highly unlikely that he will reach those numbers this season.
A healthy and revitalized Martin eases concerns about the quality of the backup, but regardless, the Blue Jays are kicking around the possibility of someone they could comfortably play more frequently.
Gibbons said he'd like to see his No. 1 catcher go through another round of batting practice on Wednesday. I could have gone either way, you know.
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