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Third inning errors open door for Pittsburgh as Pirates beat Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Rob Refsnyder commits a fielding error while trying to turn a double play in the third inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, on Aug. 11, 2017.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays' Friday night started off with an injury to Russell Martin and went downhill from there.

The result was a 4-2 victory for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Rogers Centre, a disappointing beginning for Toronto in the opener of a three-game set against the National League team. Martin set the tone for this one.

Toronto's No. 1 catcher had to be pulled from the game before the beginning of the second inning.

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Martin could be seen grimacing when he grounded out in the bottom of the first.

When he came on to play defence in the top of the second, Martin decided he could not continue after starting to warm up pitcher Marcus Stroman. He was replaced by Raffy Lopez.

The Blue Jays later identified Martin's injury as a left oblique strain, which can be long-term, pesky affairs.

Toronto got the early jump on Pittsburgh when Kevin Pillar lifted a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the second that scored the tagging Justin Smoak from third for a 1-0 lead.

But two errors by Toronto second baseman Rob Refsnyder in the top of the third opened the door for Pittsburgh to tack up four unearned runs for a 4-1 lead.

Jose Bautista swatted his 20th home run, and third in as many games, in the bottom of the inning to cut the score to 4-2, but the Blue Jays could not inflict any more damage.

Stroman went eight innings and gave up four runs – none earned – off just four hits.

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