It took them seven games, but the Jays finally won their first interleague game of the season in an ugly 8-3, extra-innings victory at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Why was it ugly? Well, for starters, the Jays managed to load the bases in the sixth inning with nobody out, and twice in both the second and eighth innings with one out, scoring zero runs in all three situations.
Another reason for the ugly term is that Phillies relievers walked an amazing seven batters in the last three innings, two of them coming with the bases loaded.
With the Jays down 3-2 in the ninth and Phillies closer Ryan Madson coming on to save the game, it appeared to be over for the Jays after blowing so many bases-loaded chances.
Fortunately, Madson exhibited about as much control as JC Romero, the Phillies set-up man who walked three in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, Madson walked Lyle Overbay to force in the tying run and send the game into extra innings.
It was an ugly tenth inning for the Phillies, as the Jays would score five runs, capped off by an RBI double from the bat of Rod Barajas. However, it was not all good for the Jays, as reliever Scott Downs was sent to the plate because they wanted him to pitch the tenth inning as well.
With the Jays up by five and two out, all Downs had to do was watch and not even lift the bat off of his shoulders. Unfortunately, Downs took his cuts anyways, dribbling a grounder to shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
With the hit, Downs turned his body to run to first and twisted his ankle in the process, crossing first base while limping. Rollins got the out and we lost a pitcher. X-Rays after the game came back negative, but a trip to the disabled list is likely and we have lost our closer in a situation that could have easily been avoided.
With Downs out for the count, Jesse Carlson came out to end the sloppiest victory in recent history. Overall, both teams used six pitchers each, the Jays finished 0-for-9 with the bases loaded (two walks and a sacrifice fly), 4-for-19 with runners in scoring position and left 16 runners on the base paths!
I think Cito Gaston put it best after the game when he said: "We did everything we could to give that game away," Gaston said. "We ended up winning it, which we probably shouldn't have.
But we did win it, so we'll take the win and hopefully we'll improve on some of the things we did wrong tonight, because we did a lot of things wrong tonight that I wasn't very happy with.
Up Next: Scott Richmond (4-3) takes the place of injured starter Roy Halladay and faces off against veteran lefty Jamie Moyer (4-5) of the Philadelphia Phillies in the second game of a three game set.
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