Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4: Las Vegas 51s 3, Athletics 1

Remainder of Jays beats Oakland in extras; Romero forgiven

The Jays starting lineup featured regulars Encarnacion, Davis, Escobar and Kelly Johnson. Today featured the beginning of Hechavarria's career in the majors, a start for Gose in CF, Moises Sierra, Cooper at first, and Yan Gomes behind the plate.

With a struggling Romero at the mound, he would have to have a great outing to keep the Jays close.

As it turned out, he did have a great outing, pitching SEVEN innings of 3 hit, 3 walk, 1 run ball. Delabar and Janssen closed out the 8th and 9th innings, the Jays tied it in the 9th thanks to a home run to David Cooper at the hands of Cook (with his 4th blown save in his last five attempts) to tie the game.

The lone run for the As came at the bottom of the second due to a combination of a walk, wild pitch (that Gomes should have started), and double.

Jays bullpen reliever Chavez (who probably flew in from Vegas early this morning) made things interesting in the 10th inning, loading the bases with two outs but a called strikeout finished the frame. Then at the top of the 11th, Edwin hit a single and stole second. The next hitter in Davis drew a four pitch walk.With a 3-2 count with Mathis at the plate, the runners went on the pitch. Mathis (who pinch hit for Gomes in the 9th and was a defensive substiution) struck out, but Kottaras fired the ball into left field, plating Encarnacion. Then Moises Sierra doubled to plate Davis to give the Jays a 3-1 lead.

Darren Oliver came on, was his dependable self, and had a 1-2-3 drama-free eleventh to record his first save and win the game.

So, a sigh of relief for the Jays, as Romero does not fall apart and pitches very well. A better test will be against the Yankees on Friday.

The Jays won tonight because of a lucky break, but also kept in the game due to a very solid pitching effort. Sometimes you need the lucky breaks to win games. It was gutsy to pull a double steal on a 3-2 count, but I think trying to make something happen is the way to go. Otherwise the Yankees would be 162-0.

Tomorrow, we will see the Jays do the exact same routine that they did yesterday in order to not jinx themselves, whether it's wearing the socks up or down, using the same bat, taking the same BP, whatever. Aaron Laffey will take the mound and hopefully will find his fastball. Tommy Milone will start for the As and hopefully he can pitch as badly as his last home outing against Tampa and Toronto, giving up 10 ER in 13 IP.

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