TORONTO, Ont. – The way the game started off for Josh Towers, it seemed like it would be a long afternoon for the Blue Jays. Towers, who gave up 3 first inning runs settled down though, and battled thru 6 and 2/3 innings to earn his second win of the year in a 7-4 victory sweeping the Devil Rays.
Blue Jays fans in attendance today thought they were in for a rough afternoon when Carl Crawford led off the game with a single, stole second base, then proceeded to third when catcher Gregg Zaun’s throw sailed into center field. The next batter, Julio Lugo singled home Crawford for a 1-0 lead, followed by a Travis Lee double which cashed in Lugo. They would add one more on a Jonny Gomes double for a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
The start to this game was eerily reminiscent of Towers’ start against the Texas Rangers where he lasted only two innings giving up six runs, but Towers said he felt different today, as he knew he wasn’t pitching that poorly.
“I didn’t have that, ‘here we go again’ feeling, I knew I was throwing the ball good…I put up zeros for the rest of the game”, said Towers.
That he did, as he went on to retire 17 of the next 20 batters he faced, allowing his team to get back into the game.
The Blue Jays would mount their comeback with a big inning in the sixth when Eric Hinske doubled home Corey Koskie and Shea Hillenbrand. Alex Rios followed with a single, spelling the end for Tampa starter Doug Waechter who pitched well in his 5 and 1/3 innings before falling apart in the sixth. Casey Fossum came in to face Zaun with runners on the corners. Zaun then drove Fossum’s offering deep to left for a 3-Run homer giving the Jays a 5-3 lead.
Toronto would add two more insurance runs in the eighth when Reed Johnson hit a clutch 2-Run double off Danys Baez, making it 7-3. Tampa would threaten in the ninth, when Nick Green singled home Alex Sanchez, putting the tying run at the plate, but Miguel Batista came in relief of Justin Speier, getting Carl Crawford to foul out to Koskie at third for a 7-4 win, and his sixth save in seven tries.
The Blue Jays will now begin a six game road trip starting in the Bronx Friday night, pitting a match up of staff aces. Roy Halladay (3-1) will start for Toronto as he goes up against the Big Unit Randy Johnson (2-1) for the New York Yankees.
The game Friday night can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 7pm EST as well as on The FAN 590AM.
InsideTheDome Post-Game Notes:The Jays are now 5-1 vs. the D-Rays this season (3-0 at home and 2-1 on the road)....
The Jays have now won eight of their last nine games versus the D-Rays at Rogers Centre dating back to last season and four of their last five series at Rogers Centre dating back to 2003 against the D-Rays...Six of Miguel Batista's last seven appearances have been scoreless (6.1IP)...Vinnie Chulk has worked 1.0 innings or more in all eight of his outings this season...Gregg Zaun has record a hit in 16 of his 20 games this season including 15 of his last 17...Is batting .346 (18-52) over his last 16 games...Alexis Rios has now hit safely in 16 of his 19 games this season
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