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When the Dust Cleared, A.J. Burnett Was Left Lying on the Ground

TORONTO - AUGUST 14:  Roy Halladay #32 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rogers Centre on August 14, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays won 4-1. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
TOsports.caCorrespondent IMay 12, 2009

Much like the scene at the OK Corral, Roy "Doc" Halladay stood victorious. He allowed only a single run over nine innings and defeated his one time protégée A.J. Burnett 5–1 at the Rogers Centre.

It was the Jays’ first true test of the season. After going up against the likes of the Cleveland Indians and the Baltimore Orioles, they had yet to meet a team of any importance, specifically the Yanks or the Sox.

“When you win, it always feels good,” Gaston said. “I hope we can continue to have crowds like that, it feels like old times.”

The crowd was hot—all 43,737 of them.  A.J., A-Rod, even Melky Cabrera weren’t spared from the taunts, jeers, boos, and catcalls.

Burnett was just not up to the challenge, in the fourth, after allowing Rios to double.

He walked two straight batters and then gave up a two-run double to Scott Rolen. Rod Barajas then hit a sacrifice fly to shallow right and Lind was allowed to go. He didn’t beat the throw, but catcher Kevin Cash couldn’t handle the throw, and the third run crossed the plate.

When the Rolen stepped up to the plate, he wasn’t exactly in the best of statistical situations. With the bases loaded some fans were a little nervous about an 0-18 hitter representing the Jays first chance at a run.

“I was?”, Rolen said in joking reference to his slump. “I’m not a numbers guy, I hate the numbers, I’m about the competition.”

“In order for us to win, Scott’s got to do what he did tonight, and he stepped up, he knows that,” Gaston said.

Burnett’s return to Toronto was highlighted in the bottom of the eighth when, on a 2–2 count, he threw a fastball. A fastball that Aaron Hill caught all of and sent to left-center field, for his ninth home run of the year.

Tonight may have been all about the pitching matchup, but the fans were all about having fun, several fights, a couple of ejections and one of the loudest "Yankees Suck!" chants the Rogers Centre has heard in years.

A fan even threw a foul ball back onto the field. It was an A-Rod foul ball and this action received a rousing chorus of cheers and no ejection.

A-Rod’s night was full of listening to the fans give him the business, but he didn’t make it easy on himself, going 1-3 and an error that cost his team an easy double play.

Another ex-Jay was in the lineup tonight for the Yankees.  Former farmhand Kevin Cash was starting in place of Jorge Posado.

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