Mission ’13, Game 34: Jays win 6-4

The Jays’ win in game one makes game two a difficult one to predict. An unexpected seven-run splurge against Mark Buehrle by the Rays was followed by the Jays chipping away until JP Arencibia’s 2-run homer provided the Jays with their margin of victory.

The first inning was relatively quiet (a couple of doubles and a walk) but gave way to a wild and near-tragic second inning. Adam Lind hit his first homer in the top of the inning to give the Jays a 1-0 lead that they would enjoy only briefly. In the bottom of the inning the Rays doubled, singled, attempted a safety squeeze which, owing to a poor call, failed, then JA Happ threw a wild pitch to score the Rays’ first run. Yunel Escobar singled to CF, and on a poor throw by Rasmus, advanced to 2B. Molina is on third, Escobar is on second. Brandon Jennings then hit a sharp line drive that hit JA Happ on the head. Both runners scored, and Jennings advanced to third. It was a scary, Herb Score moment. Happ was removed from the field by EMTs and was taken to the local hospital. Brad Lincoln came on in relief and yielded a run-scoring single to Ryan Roberts, making it 4-1 Rays. Roberts was erased on a CS, as Lincoln employed the good old balk-spin move to catch Roberts part way between first and second.

The Blue Jays benefited from two missed calls in that inning. Sean Rodriguez was clearly safe at home on the safety squeeze, and Lincoln clearly balked on the pick-off move. The poor calls cost the Rays at least two runs. Rodriguez’ run would have made the game 1-0, while Longoria’s sharply hit grounder into the hole at short would have scored Roberts from third base.

The Blue Jays came out the worse for wear, however. I figure they’d take a 6-1 deficit with a healthy JA Happ, if they had the choice. The ball was hit so hard that it caromed into the Rays right field bullpen after striking Happ near the temple. Happ crumpled to the ground instantly and stayed down until he was removed from the playing field on a stretcher. He moved the entire time that he was prone, and waved to the crowd as he was being wheeled up the runway. This is good news, but there is no news about the severity of the injury yet. The Jays’ bench is sombre, as one might expect.

Brad Lincoln gave up three hits and a walk in 2.1 IP before being replaced by Aaron Loup. Considering the circumstances, Lincoln pitched well. Loup’s first batter, Ben Zobrist, flied out to deep LF to end the inning. The Jays’ bats have been quiet tonight, even before the injury.

The Jays are in a fog. The first two batters of the fifth inning—Rasmus and Izturis—have seen seven pitches. Both struck out. Kawasaki seems intent on making Roberto Hernandez (aka Fausto Carmona) work for his pay, though. He singled into RF off Hernandez’ glove on a full count pitch. Brett Lawrie swung at the first pitch and hit a lazy fly ball to shallow left-center to end the inning.

The second inning has been the exception tonight: no runs have been score in any other inning. Both teams have been pretty quiet offensively, which testifies to the quality of the pitching in this game. Having said that, Adam Lind doubled into the LF corner and Colby Rasmus homered against Jake McGee to make the game 4-3 Rays.

Evan Longoria hit a drive to deep center with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning that, had it been hit to any other part of the park, it would have been a home run. Ben Zobrist came to the plate next, and Steve Delabar induced him to fly out to CF.

The Jays tied the game in the top of the eighth with a Melky double, a passed ball by Jose Molina, and a double by Jose Bautista against Kyle Farnsworth. Edwin Encarnacion continued the hit parade with a single just over the outstretched glove of former Blue Jay Ryan Roberts. Bautista advanced to 3B. As the commentators are saying, the comeback in game one is reaping dividends in game two. The Rays—already missing their manager, who was tossed for arguing the Rodriguez play at the plate—need to be creative with their ‘pen, having used four relief pitchers in game one. Closer Fernando Rodney threw 37 pitches yesterday. Something not be forgotten, though, is that the Jays have needed to use their ‘pen extensively as well.

Can you believe this? Maicer Izturis hit a one-out home run against Joel Peralta in the top of the ninth to give the Jays a one-run lead. This gives the Jays a share of the home run lead in the league, but more importantly make the score 5-4 Jays. A two-out single by Brett Lawrie was followed by a Melky double into the RF corner. Lawrie was off and running, and scored with a slide. A two-out walk to Bautista has triggered a pitching change by th Rays. Brandon Gomes struck out Edwin to end the inning. It’s 6-4 Jays.

Casey Janssen is on to pitch the ninth. As he’s done all season, he set down the opposition quickly and quietly. It’s the eighth time in his nine saves that Janssen has set down the side in order.

The Jays now have a winning streak: they’ve won three in a row. Astonishingly, two of the wins have come against Tampa Bay. Ricky Romero is on the hill for game three.

**There is no recent news about JA Happ except to say that they continue to run tests at the hospital.

Wes Kepstro


2 Responses to “Mission ’13, Game 34: Jays win 6-4”

  1. 1 Idiot Fan May 8, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Keep the line moving… Very solid victory, that Rays pen is getting abused the way I thought our lineup would lean on staffs.

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