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With a fresh start in Seattle, Ryan Borucki isn’t feeling Blue about being bounced by the Jays

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SEATTLE — Ryan Borucki isn’t the vindictive type, and he’s mostly grateful for his professional life with the Blue Jays.

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But the left-hander is also a competitor, so you better believe he liked what happened at T-Mobile Park late Friday night.

Find out how the game of baseball works — that Jays team struggling with both on the mound at the plate was partially taken down by a player they released in late May.

It may not have been the biggest win of Borucki’s career, but when the Illinois native threw two more scoreless innings in his team’s 5-2 victory, it was accomplished with a healthy dose of redemption.

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“We’re playing good defense and pitching well and hitting well … and chasing the Jays,” Borucki said when asked how life in the Pacific Northwest is treating him. “I really, really like it here. It’s a fun team to be a part of.”

He probably liked it more when he woke up Saturday after one of the most clutch performances of his professional career, a “I’ll show them” moment he’ll never forget.

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Borucki had only good things to say about the organization that gave rise to his professional career. But with a new brain trust trusting him, he’s also talking like the confident pitcher he’s been at various stages of his time in Toronto.

“I feel really confident and I feel like my birth is in a really good place,” Borucki said in describing his baseball rebirth. “I threw the ball really well. I’ve been riding a lot of confidence lately and I just want to keep it.”

The results confirm this.

In 11 games with Seattle, Borucki has a clean 2.53 ERA and has allowed just one earned run over the past 10 games. He lost faith in management in Toronto after putting up a bloated 9.95 ERA in 11 appearances, leading to his departure from the only organization he knew.

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Borucki, who was drafted by the Jays in the 15th round in 2012, has had a full experience with the Canadian franchise.

He began his career at the bottom of the ler, traveling from there with the Vancouver Canadians, and was a starter as he rose through the ranks with some of the Jays’ top prospects.

There was also Tommy John surgery that kept him out for the 2021 season. Then began a tour of the Jays’ entire minor league schedule: Vancouver first, then Bluefield and Dunedin. He moved to Lansing and New Hampshire and Buffalo and finally made his big league debut on June 26, 2018.

So when he was designated for assignment earlier this year, there was some sting.

“Obviously it was tough,” said Borucki, who scored his first win since May 2, 2021. “It was 11 years of my life. There were a lot of hard goodbyes to guys who meant so much to me in my career.

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“(Coach John Schneider, who managed him in Vancouver) met me when I was 18 years old. Saying goodbye to him was like losing a friend.”

He’ll get a chance to relaunch his career here—just outside of the Vancouver area where his wife’s family is paying.

“The fresh start helped a little bit when we got to a place where they kind of have a. different mindset,” Borucki said. “I just got back to using all three of my pitches and attacking the zone again, which is good.

NO GO GAUSMAN

As expected, Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said right-hander Kevin Gausman (bruised ankle) will not be able to make his final scheduled start on Sunday.

“He’s not feeling 100 percent yet, so we’re hoping for Tuesday,” Montoyo said. “I’m sure he’ll throw again tomorrow and we’ll see.”

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So what now, what could be the pivotal finale of the four-game series? Montoyo was hoping he wouldn’t have to use Max Castillo on Saturday so he could be the main guy in the Sunday matinee he’ll be hitting.

“You need your starters to give you a chance every day,” Montoyo said of the rotation’s struggles of late. “That’s what beginners have to do. It starts with the guy on the hill and we’ve got to get there.”

STAR STRUCK

Since Alejandro Kirk and Vlad Guerrero Jr. heads to Dodger Stadium for the Summer Classic, the Jays will have multiple starters for the all-star game for the sixth time in franchise history.

Kirk joins Ernie Whitt, John Buck and Russell Martin as the only All-Star catchers in club history and the first to start.

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Meanwhile, there’s a chance Saturday starter Alek Manoah and closer Jordan Romano could be ed when the pitchers are named Sunday.

“To be chosen for something like that would be pretty cool,” Romano said. “These are the small goals you set on your journey. That’s something coming into the big leagues where you want to get to, to be an All Star. That would be pretty cool.”

AROUND THE BASES

On Sunday, the Jays complete a stretch of 18 games in 17 days spanning four cities and four time zones with no days off. Their record in that stretch heading into Saturday night: 6-10 … Friday’s agonizing 5-2 loss in 11 innings was the fifth time the Jays have been shut out this season as their record in extras dropped to 2-5.

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