Orioles Outlast Jays as Bullpen Falls Apart Late

Koskie Homered in the Fourth

TORONTO, Ont. – Although it doesn't show up in the final score, the game Friday night with the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles was closer than it seemed, but the Blue Jays bullpen faltered in the eighth and the game was quickly out of reach for the home team.

Both teams battled hard thru seven innings until the Blue Jays bullpen decided to take the rest of the night off. Josh Towers, facing his former team, went six innings scattering eight hits and surrendering four runs. Jason Frasor then worked the seventh inning, holding the Orioles off the scoreboard as the Jays led 5-4 going to the top of the eighth.

Justin Speier came in to work the eighth and was rocked by Melvin Mora leading off the inning with a solo shot for the Orioles. That tied the game at five. Miguel Tejada then reached base on Russ Adams' errant throw to first, his second error of the game, followed by Sammy Sosa's single to left, and that was all for Speier. In came Scott Schoeneweis to face left-handed hitting first baseman Rafael Palmeiro who grounded out to first, advancing the runners with one out. Javy Lopez was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Schoeneweis then yielded three consecutive run scoring singles to Jay Gibbons, Luis Matos and Larry Bigbie. To make things worse, with the bases still loaded, Brian Roberts drew a walk from the lefty. When the dust cleared, Baltimore had scored six times, erasing their one run deficit and emerging with a 10-5 lead.

Toronto couldn't muster any offense whatsoever against an Orioles bullpen who combined to pitch three and one-third perfect innings. All of the Blue Jays offense came off of Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera who struggled to find the plate all night long as he walked six batters in his five and two-third innings giving up five runs on five hits, but struck out seven. Gregg Zaun doubled home Adams and Frank Catalanotto, followed by a Corey Koskie 2-Run home run in a four run third inning. Adams grounded into a fielder's choice in the sixth scoring Eric Hinske for their fifth run. Todd Williams came in, preventing any further damage escaping a bases loaded jam by striking out Shea Hillenbrand, recording his second win of the season.

The Blue Jays have now lost three straight and five of their last six games. They'll look to David Bush (0-2) to steer the ship back in the right direction on Saturday as he's matched up against Canadian lefty Erik Bedard (0-1).

The game Saturday can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 1pm EST as well as on The FAN 590AM.

E-mail any questions or comments to: raxx2099@hotmail.com

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