Rangers edge Jays in extra innings

Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton (R) and his teammates celebrate his two-run walk-off home run against...

Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton (R) and his teammates celebrate his two-run walk-off home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the thirtheenth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Arlington, Texas May 26, 2012. (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:14 AM ET

ARLINGTON, TEX. - Jason Frasor looked shattered.

The Blue Jays 34-year-old reliever has been through many tough times in his career but this day was about as low as it could get.

Called into the game in the bottom of the 13th with his team ahead 7-6 and a runner at second, Frasor hung a changeup to power hitting Josh Hamilton on a 1-2 count and the big Texas Rangers slugger swatted it onto the grass slope beyond the fence in centre for his 20th home run of the season and a stunning 8-7 come-from-behind, walkoff win.

"It was such a great game, it was a long day in the bullpen and I felt we were going to win that one at the end there," Frasor said while fighting back tears. "Then you're two hits away and a hanging changeup away from losing that game and that's what happened."

Frasor, of course, wasn't supposed to be in the game and neither was the ineffective Ryota Igarashi who preceded him and got the Rangers on their way by walking the leadoff batter in the 13th before serving up an RBI double by Elvis Andrus.

Both relievers had thrown 30-plus pitches the night before and both were supposed to get the day off. But when the game dragged on, their names eventually came up.

It's a situation, though, that Frasor has never shied from.

"I like those situations," he said. "I feel like the last couple of years I've been pretty good at it.

"Man that happened quick. It's very disappointing. Looking back you second-guess the pitch selection. I shook off the catcher and it wasn't a well-executed pitch and that's what makes it hard to sleep tonight.

"You make a good pitch and he pops it up maybe you get some rest, but man, it will be hard to sleep."

With first base open, there was of course the option of walking Hamilton even though that would be putting the winning run on base.

That scenario never occurred to Frasor.

"I never thought of that," Frasor said. "To tell you the truth it all happened so fast I didn't even know he was up until I got on the mound."

Manager John Farrell certainly knew that Hamilton was coming to the plate and made the decision to pitch to him

"You can say: 'Here's the best player in the game currently, why do you pitch to him?'" Farrell said. "But we get ahead two strikes, a 1-2 count, and you see what took place. But we were in the thick of it right there."

The Jays clubhouse was dead quiet as the players attempted to absorb what had happened.

"Every time that you lose in extra innings it's obviously very hard," veteran Omar Vizquel said. "As soon as we scored two runs it was like a wakeup call for them. They came out and got a couple of guys on and Superman, Hamilton, came through again.

"It's one of those games that you really have to take your cap off. They really did a great job."

The game seemed like two games in one. There as the first part that featured Jays starter Henderson Alvarez and then came the extra innings.

In the sixth inning, Henderson was cruising with a 4-2 lead and two out when on a 1-0 count, Nelson Cruz banged a solo shot to left centre. Next up, Yorvit Torrealba cranked another 1-0 pitch to almost the same spot.

Not to be outdone, Mitch Moreland followed by belting a third home run to the same area, this one on a 3-1 pitch.

So that's nine pitches, three home runs.

The drama was far from over for Alvarez.

Ian Kinsler was the next Texas batter and on a 1-2 pitch, Alvarez came way inside with a belt-high pitch that Kinsler needed to jump away from.

Umpire Marty Foster hopped out from behind home plate and tossed Alvarez from the game.

"I was very surprised because I was just trying to get him out," Alvarez said. "I didn't want (Kinsler) to get extended so I tried to throw a sinker in, which is my pitch, that's how I get people out. It kind of ran a little bit too much but it wasn't that bad of a pitch to be thrown out."

The home runs were something else.

"Those three pitches might be the worst pitches I threw," he said. "They were up in the zone, I was keeping the ball down, getting ground balls, those three were up in the zone. They're a good hitting club and they took advantage."

Frasor, meanwhile, was asked if this is as hard as it gets?

"I don't know. It's a brutal two days for me and two losses are two losses for the team," he said.

Brutal for Frasor, brutal for the Jays.


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