3:10 AM Eastern
The Blue Jays appeared to be home and cooled against the weak-hitting Mariners after they smacked Jason Vargas around to the tune of a six-run first inning. All the scoring came with two outs, Colby Rasmus getting things going with a three-run double to right-centre. Brett Lawrie followed with an RBI single up the middle and Aaron Hill then went deep, just his 6th home run of the season.
All Brad Mills had to do was throw strikes and cruise through six innings to pick up an easy win. Problem was, he had issues with the “throw strikes” part.
Though Mills got the M’s in order in the first, he opened up the second by walking Mike Carp, then giving up back-to-back home runs to Casper Wells and Miguel Olivo. A two-out walk factored into a three-run rally for Seattle in the third inning as well, and just like that the game was tied.
It was the second straight start in which Mills has not made it into the 4th inning, also the second straight start in which he’s allowed six runs. The last one was against the almost-equally weak-hitting Oakland A’s.
I have long thought that Mills’ stuff wouldn’t play in the A.L. East long-term, but I didn’t think he’d have much trouble in the A.L. West – this can’t go on, obviously, and I wonder if the Jays will send Mills out for his next scheduled start on Sunday afternoon in Oakland.
Luis Perez came out and restored order with four innings of three-hit relief, allowing only one run, and with the additions of Wil Ledezma and Rommie Lewis to the bullpen, it’s not a huge stretch to think that the Sunday start might well go to Perez. Certainly you have to think hard about letting Mills take the ball again.
With the six-run lead blown, the Blue Jays shrugged their collective shoulders (or maybe flexed their muscles) and simply built another one. They took advantage of the collective wildness of Vargas and Tom Wilhelmsen in the 5th – three walks and a couple of wild pitches – to score four runs, with Rasmus and Hill each contributing a sacrifice fly. In the 6th, they tacked on three more, the first two on a two-run bomb by Jose Bautista. It was part of a perfect 2-for-2 day for the major-league home run leader – he’d walked his first three times up.
Bautista seems to really have turned things around over his last three games. Since striking out in the 1st inning Sunday afternoon against the Angels, Bautista has gone 5-for-9 with two homers and five walks. That’s a .556/.714/1.222 line, which is sort of good.
The final Jays run came on a Hill double, giving him four RBIs on the night – he came into the game with just 41 ribbies on the season.
Shawn Camp pitched a couple of shutout frames to wrap it up, and the series is tied at a game apiece heading into the finale.
Brett Lawrie continued his unabated awesemnity with his first career three-hit game, posting a trio of singles to go with a walk. He scored a run and drove one in. There have only been two games so far in his 11-game big-league career in which Lawrie hasn’t gotten a hit.
Here’s tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:
The series wraps up with Brandon Morrow making what he hopes is a triumphant return to Seattle – he’s never pitched there as a visitor. He’ll face rookie Blake Beavan, who will be taking on a Blue Jays squad that has scored 34 runs in its last 36 innings of work. We’ll be on the air at 9:30 PM Eastern with a full pre-game, first pitch coming at 10:10 – join us, won’t you?
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Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!