Thornton allowed five runs (zero earned) on two hits and two walks while striking out two in one inning Monday against the Rays. None of the five runs to cross the plate in the first inning were earned due to a fielding error, but Thornton struggled to record the first three outs in his appearance as Toronto's opener. Before fanning the final batter of the frame, he walked in a run and gave up a grand slam. Following his latest outing, the right-hander owns a 2.59 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 24:10 K:BB across 24.1 innings on the season.
The Blue Jays announced Thornton would start Monday's game against the Rays, Hazel Mae of Sportsnet reports. Two of Thornton's 14 appearances on the season have come as a starter, though he's served as more of an opener on both occasions. Expect that trend to continue Monday, with Thornton likely to work between two or three innings before turning the game over to the bull. Ross Stripling was initially lined up to start Monday, so he could end up acting as a primary pitcher out of the bullpen if Toronto elects to go that route.
Thornton (1-1) allowed two runs on a hit and two walks with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings, taking the loss Friday versus Philadelphia. Thornton had little trouble in the sixth inning, but he walked two batters in the seventh, and Tim Mayza allowed both of his inherited runners to score. That left Thornton with the loss. He has a 3.15 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 18:8 K:BB across 20 innings this season. Thornton has logged more than one inning in 10 of his 12 appearances, so he's unlikely to see much high-leverage work.
Thornton (1-0) secured the win over Atlanta on Tuesday, firing a scoreless seventh inning during which he allowed one hit and did not record any walks or strikeouts. Thornton was called upon to pitch in the seventh and surrendered a double to Cristian Pache after getting two easy outs but was able to get out of the inning with no harm done. The Blue Jays tacked on three runs in the eighth and were able to eventually notch the 5-3 victory, which secured the 27-year-old his first win since September 2019. Thornton has a solid 2.45 ERA over 18.1 innings, but his 1.20 WHIP suggests he's still letting men on too often.
Thornton didn't factor into the decision Tuesday against the Nationals. He gave up two runs on three hits while fanning two across 2.1 innings. Thornton worked as the opener and didn't stay enough in the game long enough to take part in the decision, but his final stat line didn't turn heads by any means. Toronto is still waiting on Nate Pearson (groin) and Ross Stripling (forearm) to return from the injured list, so Thornton might remain in the rotation for the short-term future.
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