In the first edition of the Blue Jays Inside Pitch report, we give you a free preview of what is to…
Batista Blows It, Yankees Score Twice in the Ninth
The Blue Jays would look to Josh Towers to end his team's four-game skid as they took on former Jay Al Leiter in game two of their four-game series Tuesday night. Towers, who has been stingy on the road in his last two starts, going 2-0, would blank the opposition thru the first three frames.
Towers' patience would pay off as Toronto would get on the board in the top of the fourth when Vernon Wells would deposit a 3-2 curveball deep into the seats beyond the fence in left field for a 1-0 lead. The next batter, Shea Hillenbrand, would fly out to the warning track, nearly missing his own solo-shot. Leiter would surrender a double to Aaron Hill, which would be followed by an RBI single up the middle by Gregg Zaun for a 2-0 advantage, before getting Alex Rios to fly out to end the inning.
After holding the Yankees to one hit thru the first five innings, Towers would run into some trouble in the sixth when he would give up three straight singles to load the bases for Bernie Williams who would bring home the Yankees first run with a sacrifice-fly.
New York would go looking for more in the seventh and they would get it when, after an Alex Rodriguez fly-out, Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi would hit back-to-back singles before a sacrifice-fly by Jorge Posada would tie the game at two.
The Blue Jays though, were determined to not let this game slip away, and would go back out ahead by a run in the eighth when Hillenbrand would single home Russ Adams and put men on the corners. Reliever Tanyon Sturtze would walk Aaron Hill to load the bases but Gregg Zaun would strike out and Alex Rios would fly out to end the inning.
Toronto's inability to capitalize the previous inning would come back to haunt them when the Yankees would rally to tie it again in their half of the eighth. With the tying run on second base, Bernie Williams would single to centre to score pinch-runner Tony Womack. Justin Speier would strike out Rodriguez to end the threat.
Mariano Rivera would come in to pitch the ninth for New York but Toronto would strike again. Orlando Hudson would beat out an infield single with one out. Russ Adams would advance Hudson to second with a dribbler out in front of the plate to set up a heroic RBI single by Reed Johnson to just score Hudson in front of Matsui's throw from left-field to put Toronto up 4-3.
The Blue Jays would call upon Miguel Batista to shut things down in the ninth but would get jolted with a line drive home run to right field from Matsui to lead off the inning. With the game tied and Jays skipper John Gibbons electing to let Batista finish what he started; Batista would walk Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano to dig himself a big hole. After electing to intentionally walk Derek Jeter to load the bases, Felix Escalona would line a 0-2 offering into center field to bring home the winning run for the Yankees.
Batista (5-5) would suffer his fifth blown save of the season while his counterpart Mariano Rivera (6-3) would collect the win after his team picked him up after a shaky ninth. Lost in all of this was the effort of Josh Towers, who pitched admirably, holding the Yankees to six hits and two earned runs in his seven innings of work.
Toronto will hope to salvage the next two games against New York in an attempt to remain in the American League Wild Card hunt, but appear to be falling apart now after stubbornly staying alive without ace Roy Halladay and Ted Lilly. David Bush (2-7) will look to stop the Jays losing skid at five games. Mike Mussina (12-7) will take the mound for the home team.
The game on Wednesday can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 7pm EST with radio coverage on The FAN 590am.
InsideTheDome's Game Notes: Including tonight's effort against the Yankees, Josh Towers has now allowed only a combined three runs in his last three starts that span twenty-two and two-third innings…Vernon Wells continues to be one of the few bright spots for the Blue Jays by collecting another three hits in five at-bats against the Yankees Tuesday night…Orlando Hudson's errorless games streak came to an end Tuesday after booting a Gary Sheffield grounder in the eighth. He had gone fifty-two straight games without committing an error.
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