After touching up Jon Garland yesterday for five runs in the second inning, the Blue Jays wanted to replicate that against Orlando Hernandez, but instead of the second, the Jays would pounce on El-Duque in the first inning.
In what would be another two out scoring frenzy by the Jays, Hernandez certainly didn’t help his own cause by loading the bases with two walks and a hit batsman. Toronto would take advantage when, with a full count, Gregg Zaun would clear the bases with a double to right-center. Eric Hinske would follow with an RBI single scoring Zaun but would be caught up in between first and second base for the third out of the inning, but not before the Jays would jump out to a 4-0 lead.
As it was the night before, the wind was headed outwards from the plate and Carl Everett would launch a David Bush offering in the bottom half of the first, deep into the stands in right field, a solo-shot and sixteenth of the season to trim the lead to 4-1.
The White Sox would use the long-ball once again, this time in the fifth when Paul Konerko would smack his second home run in as many days, this one to center field, a two-run shot to cut the Toronto lead to 4-3.
David Bush would leave after the fifth inning, yielding to Pete Walker after allowing three runs on seven hits in his five innings of work. Walker would pitch a scoreless sixth and retire the first two batters in the seventh before walking both Tadahito Iguchi and Carl Everett. Manager John Gibbons would ask Vinnie Chulk to come in and retire the hot-hitting Paul Konerko and would succeed, ending the threat.
Orlando Hernandez would give his team every chance to get back into the game by shutting out the Jays for the next six innings after allowing four runs in the first, but his ‘mates couldn’t capitalize when putting the tying run in scoring position in the eighth as well as the ninth.
Miguel Batista would retire the final four outs for his eighteenth save of the season, clinching the win for the Blue Jays who have now won two straight against the best team in baseball and continue to creep closer to the second place Yankees in the AL East.
David Bush would record his second win since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, improving his record to (2-5) on the year. Orlando Hernandez’ first inning blunder cost him in the end, dropping his record to (8-4).
The Jays and White Sox will conclude their three-game series with an afternoon game on Thursday which will see young Jays prospect Dustin McGowan (0-0) battle Jose Contreras (6-6).
The game on Thursday can be seen on the Rogers Ontario Preview Station starting at 2pm EST with radio coverage on The FAN 590am.
InsideTheDome’s Game Notes: Gustavo Chacin was named the AL Rookie of the Month for July after posting a 5-0 record with a 2.97 ERA. This is Chacin’s second R.O.M award after previously winning in April…The Blue Jays sit only 1.5 games back of second place New York in the AL East. Both teams will square this weekend in a three-game series.