Jays pull out the odd win in St. Louis

Blue Jays batter Edwin Encarnacion rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Cardinals...

Blue Jays batter Edwin Encarnacion rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Cardinals in St. Louis, Miss., June 25, 2011. (SARAH CONARD/Reuters)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:58 PM ET

ST. LOUIS - If you tuned in to watch the Blue Jays game Saturday night that was indeed a four-man outfield Toronto attempted to deploy in the eighth inning.

On a night of unusual events that included Juan Rivera hitting a three-run homer to give the Jays four unearned runs in a one-hit, five-run fifth, hitters swinging and missing at only four of Jays starter Carlos Villanueva's 96 pitches and Jays reliever Marc Rzepczynski throwing one pitch and getting two outs, there stood Corey Patterson and Rivera standing in left at the same time.

The Jays doubled up the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 at Busch Stadium Saturday night before 40,289 fans.

After being swept in Atlanta, the Jays go for the sweep against the Cards with lefty Ricky Romero on the mound Sunday afternoon.

Pitching with a 5-2 lead, thanks to Rivera, Jon Rauch allowed the first two runners to reach base in the eighth, his second inning of work.

He struck out Matt Holliday, and then the fun began with left-handed hitting Lance Berkman due up next.

Holliday complained and was ejected by plate umpire Marvin Hudson.

Jays manager John Farrell left the dugout signalling for Rzepczynski and Patterson to come out. Crew chief Tim McClelland told Farrell to stay put until the home plate debate died down.

Farrell signalled again and attempted to tell Hudson of the double switch. Hudson and McClelland both said no as Patterson headed to left.

“You have to tell the plate ump before making a double switch,” McClelland said.

Farrell and McClelland talked.

Eventually Farrell and Patterson left the field.

“It was my mistake, it wasn’t Patterson’s,” he said. “I told him to go out there.”

Returning to live action, Rzepczynski took over and threw one pitch for a rally-killing, 4-6-3 double play.

Villanueva pitched six innings, allowing five hits and two runs, throwing 96 pitches, 61 for strikes.

“He doesn’t pitch to strike people out, he pitches to disrupt timing,” Farrell said.

Game action

Rzepczynski’s best ever outing? Pitching seven scoreless innings in Anaheim and allowing two hits as he threw 102 pitches. On this night, he was surrounded by 10 reporters for his one pitch “I was trying to execute a first pitch sinker down,” he said ... Most impressive about Villanueva was the way he handled the Cards' No. 3 and 4 hitters Holliday (3-for-7, .429, two homers against him) and Berkman (5-for-18, .277, two doubles, two homers). They were hitless in six at-bats Saturday against the Jays starter ... Cards lefty Jamie Garcia threw 12 balls in a 15-pitch stretch, including five-pitch walks to Villanueva, Yunel Escobar and an intentional walk to Jose Bautista ... Garcia looked out of the jam when J.P. Arencbia’s rocket was fielded by third baseman Daniel Descalso, who threw high to first. First baseman Berkman argued he came down on the bag. Ump D.J. Reyburn, No. 70 in the ump’s program, No. 1 in the Jays’ hearts, ruled Arencibia safe. Instead of the inning being over, the Jays had a 2-1 lead and two pitches later Rivera hit one 407 feet to left for a three-run homer ... When it looked as if Farrell was slow on the draw removing Edwin Encaranion for a defensive replacement -- up by three with six outs to go -- Encarnacion led off the ninth with a homer. Encarnacion hit his 17th double in the sixth. He has three homers and 13 RBI this season. A year ago Sunday, he woke up with five doubles, nine homers and 22 RBI ... With runners on the corners and none out in the first, Villanueva got Holliday to hit a hard smash at Escobar, who started a 6-4-3 double play. The Jays would make that trade any day: A hard-hit ball for one run and two outs.

Random thoughts

How messed up is Jays prospect Kyle Drabek? Against Reno he went single, walk, out, three-run Cody Ransom homer, Andy Tracy homer, out, walk, double, wild pitch, walk lasting 2/3 of an inning Friday ... Colby Rasmus tagged Brandon Morrow’s first pitch to him, a changeup, 390 feet for a solo homer Friday. A first-pitch change may be good the second or third time through the order. Or to someone who had trouble with it, say, a week ago. But a first pitch change, to a hitter who was 0-for-3 lifetime against Morrow with three strikeouts, it’s like a slow fastball. “There was the look of puzzlement in the dugout,” said manager Farrell. “Especially since he blew the fastball by him the next two at-bats.” Farrell said Morrow did not shake Molina off ... How respected is Pat Hentgen in St. Louis? Well, after he won 15 games for Tony La Russa in 2000, the manager still had his jersey hanging in his office for a year ... Friday’s win was the Jays first at Busch. Carlos Tosca’s Jays were swept in 2003 as Cards hitters beat up Jays starters Kelvim Escobar, Cory Lidle and Mark Hendrickson 11-5, 8-5 and 13-5 respectively ... The Texas Rangers are the only team not to have won in St. Louis. The Rangers have never been to Busch ... Has Frank Francisco arrived? “That was the dominant closer we traded for,” said Farrell on Francisco’s 10-pitch, 1-2-3 ninth Friday ... Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel thinks home field advantage should be decided by which league wins the most games in interleague play. “It certainly would be a greater body of work,” Farrell said. “I was with Tito (Terry Francona) when we played 15 innings at Yankee Stadium, he had to bring every Yankee player off the field in the middle of the inning, he had to make sure Mariano Rivera worked the ninth and we were playing it to a conclusion.”


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