Lack of support for Laffey leads to Jays loss

Blue Jays starter Aaron Laffey pitches against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago,...

Blue Jays starter Aaron Laffey pitches against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill., July 6, 2012. (DAVID BANKS/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:02 AM ET

CHICAGO - Aaron Laffey did his thing for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Unfortunately, so too did Jake Peavy for the Chicago White Sox.

Peavy's teammates, however, pulled off a number of quality defensive plays behind him.

Not so for Laffey in Friday’s 4-2 loss to the South Siders.

The fifth inning proved to be Laffey and the Jays' undoing, one in which the White Sox totalled three runs on four hits. One of those runs was unearned thanks to two Jays errors.

The big mistake was a throwing error by left fielder Rajai Davis on an ill-advised heave to the plate instead of holding Alexi Ramirez to a single. The result left Ramirez at third base with none out and it changed the complexion of the inning.

Chicago would add two hits and two runs before the inning ended while the Jays countered with a second error and an unearned run.

It proved to be the difference maker in a game where the Jays couldn’t gain any traction offensively.

“He tried to force the issue,” Jays manager John Farrell said of the play by Davis. “By the time he received the ball right there you’re looking for him to throw the ball into second base. He forced it and overthrew (to the plate) and it ended up contributing not only to a couple of extra bases but put them in a no-out, third-base situation.”

The Jays made mental mistakes in their loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday and made more this steamy night in the south side.

Although the gaffes resulted in runs, Farrell would give his troops a pass.

“I think tonight was the first sign of fatigue,” he said as the Jays played game No. 84. “Not to make excuses but this starting nine has been running out there every day and that’s where the lack of depth on the bench because we’re carrying an extra pitcher starts to come into play a little bit.

“But we’re not making excuses, we’re looking to find ways to conserve energy to get through this first half but (the fatigue has) shown up the last couple of nights.”

Overall, Laffey went his customary six innings, allowing all four runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out four despite the one shaky inning.

“He keeps the game under control, throws a lot of strikes, doesn’t get rattled in certain situations and is not going to pitch away from contact,” Farrell said of the soft-tossing Laffey, who lights up the gun at 85, 86. “They were able to bunch some hits together in the fifth inning and then we contributed with some of the (poor) defence there, but overall he’s done a good job for us.”

The Jays, meanwhile, could mount little against Peavy save for a leadoff home run by Adam Lind in the second inning that gave the Jays a 1-0 lead. It was the fourth home run for Lind in the 11 games that he has played since his return from triple-A Las Vegas.

Overall, the Jays managed just five hits and the one run against Peavy, who lasted 7 1/3 innings. They added a run in the ninth against closer Addison Reed.

“He was good, he pitched great,” second baseman Kelly Johnson said of Peavy, who moved to 7-5 on the season. “I don’t remember any balls over the middle of the dish to me so I’m sure there weren’t too many the whole game.

“He’s able to mix three or four pitches for strikes and, like I say, never over the middle.”

They simply just couldn’t get anything going against him.

“Even our hits weren’t a lot of hard hits,” Johnson, who went 1-for-2 against him, said. “We had some broken bats, jam shots, flares. You got to tip your cap. He pitched well.”

Up until the fifth, Laffey held the White Sox to just two singles but troubled brewed when Dayan Viciedo opened the fifth with a double into the left-field corner.

Ramirez followed with a single to left and that’s when the fun started for Chicago.

Still, in three starts Laffey has kept the Jays in every game, but all he has to show for it is a 0-1 record.

“The first four innings were pretty good. I went out there and pounded down in the zone and was able to keep the hitters off balance like I have been in my previous starts,” Laffey said. “In the fifth inning the ball was up a little bit and they were able to put some good swings on balls and make things happen.”

For the most part, Laffey was able to repeat his delivery against the White Sox and got the results he craved.

The problem was he didn’t get much help from his teammates, either at the plate or in the field.


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