Bullpen rescues Blue Jays
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
|Blue Jays runner Rajai Davis gets caught in a run-down between third and home Friday night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Yunel Escobarís seventh inning double snapped a 2-2 tie, sending the Blue Jays on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox Friday.
It was Escobarís second hit of the night and scored teammate Jayson Nix all the way from first to snap Torontoís recent losing streak at three games.
Escobarís RBI made a winner out of reliever Casey Janssen, who had come in with two outs in the top of the seventh in relief of starter Kyle Drabek.
Drabek worked 6 2/3 innings, gave up just three hits but walked five, tossing a career-high 121 pitches.
With a two-run lead, Jon Rauch came out of the bullpen in the ninth to get his sixth save, striking out a pair and stranding a runner at third base, in front of a crowd of 16,668.
Jays took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when three of the first four batters had base hits against starter Mark Buehrle. Escobar led off with a single. One out later, Bautista singled him to second. Escobar then scored on Riveraís double but thatís where the line stopped. Arencibia and Hill both flied out, stranding runners at second and third.
Chicago tied the score in the third, combining Juan Pierreís one-out triple with Alexei Ramirezís sacrifice fly to left.
Jays had a chance for a big inning in the fourth but got unnecessarily aggressive on the bases to run themselves out of it, settling in the end for one run.
Hill singled to lead off, then scored on a Rajai Davis triple. One out later, Jayson Nix walked, putting runners at first and third for Escobar. After showing bunt once, Escobar tried to squeeze Davis home with a second bunt. When he failed to make contact, Davis was caught in a rundown. One pitch later, Escobar grounded out to end the inning.
It is one thing to be aggressive, but itís another thing to run yourself out of an inning, especially so early in the game, with arguably your second-best hitter at the plate. Not exactly John Farrellís greatest call.
White Sox tied it in the top of the fifth on a bases-loaded walk issued to Carlos Quentin, but Drabek was able to pitch out of the bases-loaded jam, getting an inning-ending ground ball from Paul Konerko.
Drabek deserved a better fate. He gave up just three hits and, while he walked five, was able to pitch himself out of trouble, time and again.
He even struck out the last man he faced, Alexei Ramirez, but his breaking ball in the dirt eluded Arencibia and Ramirez reached base on what should have been the third out of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jose Molina led off with a single and was quickly erased on Nixís groundball to third. Nix hustled down the line and avoided getting doubled up, then scored the go-ahead run from first on Escobarís double to the right-centre gap.