I guess the deal is that the 2012 Blue Jays just love playing baseball so much that nine innings are simply not enough for them.
They got up off the mat in the season’s second game, no-hit through 6 2/3 innings, and their first hit was a big one – Brett Lawrie’s single to centre (his first hit of the season, and first of his three hits on the day) cashed Kelly Johnson and Adam Lind, who had reached on walks and moved up on a wild pitch, tying the game a two apiece.
The hit took Brandon Morrow off the hook for a loss, which was only fair since he was thoroughly brilliant. Morrow went seven innings of one-hitter, allowing only a Jason Kipnis two-run homer after J.P. Arencibia’s throwing error on a little squibber out in front of the plate by Casey Kotchman extended the 5th inning. If the umpires had been paying attention and noticed that Kotchman was not in the running lane inside the first-base line, we might be talking about a Morrow no-hitter right now.
Instead, the game proceeded to the 9th inning tied up, and Johnson untied it with a leadoff homer to dead centre – finally flashing the smile tool in so doing! But Blue Jays’ fans are frightened of taking a slim lead into the final frame, thanks to last year’s bullpen ugliness, and their fears were semi-realized in the bottom of the ninth, when Asdrubal Cabrera went up and got a high heater from Sergio Santos and yanked it out of the yard to right field to tie the game up. It was the Jays’ first save situation of the season, and resulted in their first blown save of the season.
The good news, though, is that the Indians didn’t get another baserunner until the Blue Jays had restored their lead. Santos retired the next two hitters he faced to end the 9th, and Casey Janssen came in to go six-up, six-down in the 10th and 11th, then watched the Jays put up a four-spot in the 12th to win it.
It was an intriguing decision by Tribe skipper Manny Acta to send lefty Tony Sipp to the mound in the 12th to face four straight righties in Edwin Encarnacion, Lawrie, Rajai Davis and Arencibia, especially with right-hander Dan Wheeler available to him, and it blew up in his face. Sipp retired only one of the five Blue Jays he saw, with Davis playing the role of hero, slamming a two-run double to right-centre to give the Jays the lead for good. Colby Rasmus scored Davis with his first hit of the season, a line-drive single to right. Rasmus’ hit leaves Eric Thames as the only Blue Jays regular without a hit through the first two games – he’s 0-for-7. Granted, Thames only played eight innings Saturday and 11 2/3 on Thursday, so he’s behind his buddies a bit there, too.
With the length of the game, we only had time for a little bit of BlueJaysTalk, and here it is, for your listening pleasure:
Sunday afternoon, the Blue Jays will bring their brooms, looking to sweep away the season’s opening series. Joel Carreno gets the ball, making his first major-league start. Derek Lowe will answer for the Indians. We’ll have all the action for you starting with the pre-game show at 12:30PM Eastern – you’ll hear Jerry Howarth in conversation with John Farrell and with J.P. Arencibia, among other things, so please tune us in!
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