White Sox use five home runs to power past Jays

Chicago White Sox batter Dewayne Wise (right) celebrates his solo home run with Kevin Youkilis...

Chicago White Sox batter Dewayne Wise (right) celebrates his solo home run with Kevin Youkilis behind Toronto Blue Jays catcher Jeff Mathis (middle) during the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto August 16, 2012. (REUTERS)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:45 PM ET

TORONTO - The thinking is that when Brandon Morrow returns to the Blue Jays rotation some time next weekend, the odd man out will be Aaron Laffey.

The left-hander, though, isn’t about to go quietly into the night.

Laffey was on the hill Thursday against the White Sox in the finale of a four-game set and it seems he isn’t willing to give up his spot without a fight.

In what was likely his penultimate start, Laffey put in a quality outing over six innings, allowing just three hits. The three hits, however, all happened to be solo home runs and the long ball proved to be the difference in the White Sox 7-2 victory.

The home run was the theme of the night and in that regard the Jays were outslugged five to one, the telling blow being a three-run shot by Alex Rios off Darren Oliver in the eighth that broke open a 3-2 game.

“Once again, our struggles to generate any kind of consistent offence showed up again tonight,” manager John Farrell said of Toronto's five-hit performance.

He was asked if Laffey would get another start?

“As of right now, yes,” was his curt reply.

Despite the loss, Laffey seemed pleased with his performance.

“I only gave up three hits but they were big hits,” he said. “At least no one was on base so I eliminated that factor. I felt good. After the first inning I got in a pretty good groove. I don’t think I threw out of the stretch after the first inning (he didn’t) which is a pretty good sign as well. I’ll just build off the positives of this game and get back at it tomorrow.”

Whether it’s a good enough game to keep him in the rotation for the short term remains to be seen. It may all depend on how Morrow comes out of his final rehab start this weekend.

In the bottom of the seventh the game was delayed four minutes due to a medical emergency suffered by a fan in the seats in back of third base. He was wheeled off the field up the third-base line.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the person who was taken out of the ball game here tonight,” Farrell said. “That was clearly a serious situation.”

NO STEADY EDDIE

Following batting practice, first baseman Edwin Encarnacion was scratched from the Jays lineup. The move didn’t come as a big surprise as Encarnacion took a tumble in Wednesday’s game after a long run into foul territory while making a rare start in left field.

He played the entire game Wednesday but was a scratch Thursday due to forearm and shoulder issues.

Farrell was asked what his thoughts were when he saw Encarnacion tumble to the ground and grab his shoulder in Wednesday’s game.

“Not again, not another one,” Farrell said before batting practice. “Going to check him when he comes in today, whether there’s some soreness in the wrist or the left side. We’ll make sure he goes through what he normally does during BP. He rolled on the left side, whether there’s some lingering things in there, that’s what I’ve got to get a final read on.”

Well, there was and he sat one out.

ON SECOND THOUGHT

One of the big topics of the day on talk radio concerned Farrell taking starter Ricky Romero out of Wednesday’s game in the seventh. The game was tied 4-4 when in the top of the seventh, Romero walked the first batter he faced and hit the second. That was enough for Farrell and he brought in right-handed Brad Lincoln to face lefty Adam Dunn.

Dunn slugged a three-run homer in what ended as a 9-5 loss and after the game, Romero didn’t seem too pleased with the decision to pull him.

The day after, Farrell wasn’t about to second-guess his decision.

“Hindsight has the benefit of 20-20,” he said. “But when the first two hitters are walked and get hit by a pitch after you tie the score and given some of the performance of left-handers against Ricky, that was the information factored in. It didn’t work out.”

Farrell didn’t have a lefty warming up and that factor didn’t bother him either.

“No, he was the most rested,” Farrell said of Lincoln. “He was the guy that was going to be used on top of Ricky. He had success against left-handers and when he got behind 2-0, it didn’t work out (three-run home run).

"So, knowing that Ricky had retired Dunn the previous three times, that was all understood. But I felt like at that point, approaching 100 pitches, when the first two hitters were pitched to, I felt like we had a better chance by making the moves. It didn’t work out so that’s on me. I made the decision to make the change so that’s on me. I’m not scapegoating anyone on this. I made the decision. I live by it.”


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