Anderson's outing shortened by blister issue

Blue Jays starter walks four in loss to Twins

Anderson's outing shortened by blister issue

MINNEAPOLIS -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was certain that left-hander Brett Anderson was going to go deep into the game, after watching his early innings from the visitors' dugout at Target Field on Thursday night.

Anderson's cruise in his fourth start for Toronto was brought to a screeching halt, however, when he started to deal with a blister on his throwing hand in the fifth inning. The frame eventually got away from him, and he turned in his shortest outing with Toronto in the team's 3-2 walk-off loss.

"To be honest, I thought he might go eight or nine innings the way he was mowing along," Gibbons said. "When he started to lose the zone a little bit we knew something was wrong."

Anderson churned through the first four frames, as he scattered four hits and walked one batter. In fact, the one-out walk to Eduardo Escobar in the fourth was Anderson's first as a member of the Blue Jays. He had not issued a free pass to the previous 79 batters since joining Toronto in mid-August.

That's why it was evident there was something more concerning when Anderson struggled to find the strike zone in the bottom of the fifth. After retiring the leadoff batter, Anderson admitted that he began to notice the blister and the pain that came with it during the following at-bat.

"I threw a couple pitches to [Ehire] Adrianza and just lost the feel for the strike zone and lost a feel for the ball," Anderson said. "It was the best I felt in a long time and so it's frustrating to have to deal with this. Not walking a guy in my first three starts and then walking three guys in a row is unacceptable."

Anderson then walked the next three batters to load the bases. Entering Thursday, Anderson last walked a batter as a starter on May 1. At the time, it was the longest active streak (19 innings) in the Majors.

With the bags full, Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco ripped a 1-1 changeup into left to take a 2-1 advantage over the Blue Jays. It also brought Anderson's day to a close, as he allowed five hits across 4 1/3 innings.

It's unclear if the blister will keep Anderson from making his next start, but it comes at a time when it appeared he was just starting to figure things out on the mound.

"I felt good. My velocity, my slider, and my curveball felt better," Anderson said. "Hopefully, we come in tomorrow and it's not too bad and go from there."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. He covered the Blue Jays on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.