Runs were at a premium Thursday afternoon in Toronto, as Scott Downs and Jeremy Bonderman were locked into a pitching duel that saw both pitchers combine to allow only three runs on six hits. Those three runs came off the bat of two players, both resulting in home runs that would determine the outcome of this game.
The Blue Jays were thankful to get out on top against Bonderman in the bottom half of the first inning when Frank Catalanotto would connect with a belt-high fastball, sending it out of the yard in right for a two-run shot and an early lead.
Toronto would be grateful for those two runs because that’s all they’d get off of Bonderman as the Tigers ace continued on to spin seven shutout innings.
Thankfully, Bonderman wasn’t the only pitcher shutting down the opposition this day. Scott Downs, who was making his fourth appearance as a starter this season, was keeping the Detroit hitters off balance and carried a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning.
It would be in that eighth inning where Downs would be chased from the game after allowing a lead off home run to Rondell White. Jason Frasor would relieve the left-hander and retire the first two outs before hitting a batter and walking the next, prompting Jays skipper John Gibbons to call on his closer Miguel Batista. The Blue Jays closer would get the job done by retiring Placido Polanco on a fly ball to right and proceeded to shut down the Tigers in the ninth for his second save in as many days, and his twentieth on the season.
Scott Downs (1-2) records his first win of the season after allowing only one run thru seven innings of work. Jeremy Bonderman (13-9) turns out to be the hard luck loser in this one after pitching eight strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out eight.
The Jays will now travel to Baltimore to begin a three-game series against the struggling Orioles on Friday. Josh Towers (8-9) will look to make it four in a row for his team as he battles young left-hander Daniel Cabrera (8-10) for the Orioles.
The game on Friday can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 7:30pm EST with radio coverage on The FAN 590am beginning at 7pm EST.
InsideTheDome’s Game Notes: The Blue Jays bullpen was down one arm on Thursday but thankfully didn’t need it as Toronto prospect Brandon League was accompanying his wife in a local hospital as they expected the birth of their first child…The Jays current road trip, which begins Friday in Baltimore, runs thirteen games long, their second longest road trip of the season.