The Toronto Blue Jays, expectedly, lost on Saturday night to the White Sox in Chicago, getting blown out 10-2.
Brian Burres kept the Blue Jays in it until the fifth, when he loaded the bases and gave up an RBI single to Paul Konerko, breaking a 2-2 tie.
Shawn Camp then relieved Burres and gave up another RBI hit before Alexei Ramirez clubbed a grand slam to put the Jays behind 8-2. Amazingly, that was Ramirez's fifth grand slam already, and he's only in his second season. He became the second-fastest ever in MLB history to reach five bases-loaded jacks.
That Saturday loss was a write-off, especially since Burres' stats at Triple-A Las Vegas weren't that great (see my post from Friday), and the lefty's ERA in Baltimore the last two seasons were 5.95 and 6.04. Yikes.
That, coupled with the fact the White Sox had Mark Buehrle going, made the result somewhat predictable. Buehrle went six innings and gave up only two runs, and is now 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
On Sunday, however, the Blue Jays had a great shot at winning their sixth straight series, especially with Roy Halladay going to the hill against Jose Contreras (1-6 in his last 11 appearances dating back to 2008).
Contreras struggled in the first inning on Sunday, giving up a two-out, two-run double to Adam Lind.
The White Sox got a run off Doc in their half of the first, cutting the score to 2-1, but the Jays were at it again in the second inning. Contreras, however, escaped a two-on, two-out threat when Aaron Hill flied out to end the frame.
Konerko then doubled home two runs in the third, to give the White Sox a 3-2 lead, before the Jays tied it on an RBI groundout in the fourth.
Contreras then remarkably settled down, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced before Chicago skipper Ozzie Guillen sent in reliever Scott Linebrink to start the eighth, with the score still 3-3.
Vernon Wells promptly greeted Linebrink with a double. Lind walked. Scott Rolen then delivered what turned out to be the game-winning hit with an RBI single to send home Wells.
With Halladay having thrown seven solid innings and now with the lead, manager Cito Gaston decided to go to the bullpen. Jason Fraser and Jesse Carlson pitched the eighth, before Scott Downs nailed down his second save of the season to give Halladay his fourth win and the Blue Jays their sixth straight series victory.
Halladay allowed eight hits and fanned six in his seven innings of work.
With the win, the Jays are now 14-6, and are 1.5 games up on the Red Sox, who have won nine straight and play New York on Sunday night.
The Blue Jays now head to Kansas City for a four-game series starting on Monday, where they'll run into former manager John Gibbons—now a bench coach for the Royals—and the early AL Cy Young candidate in Zack Greinke (4-0, 0.00 ERA).
Greinke, who saw his 38-inning scoreless streak end—dating back to 2008—in his last start, will face the Jays in the Wednesday game against Brian Tallet.
Will the Jays make it seven series in a row in KC? Or at least manage a tie?