Today's heart breaking 6-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox is most likely the beginning of the end for the 2008 Toronto Blue Jays. Although the Jays got both good hitting and some average pitching, they were unable to defeat the team they are trying to catch in the wildcard and are now eight games back instead of six, which they would have been if they won today.
Vernon Wells continued his hot streak with a 2-for-4 afternoon, which included his third home run in two days. He hit it in the first inning, a two run shot, and it gave the Jays a early lead to work with. Unfortunately, Burnett struggled with his control in the third inning, giving up four runs in the process.
He walked two straight batters and then gave up a three run shot to the light hitting Dustin Pedroia. The Jays pulled within one in the fourth when Lyle Overbay hit a solo shot, his 11th of the season. They would then take the lead in the sixth when both Vernon Wells and Rod Barajas hit RBI doubles.
The lead would be short lived as Burnett surrendered a home run to another light hitter in Coco Crisp. After the seventh inning, the game became a battle of the bullpens and both were perfect until the 11th inning.
Brandon League served up a big meatball to another light hitter, Jed Lowrie, and Lowrie took it for a ride, giving Boston the only extra inning run, they would need. Manny Declarmen earned his first save of the season with a perfect 11th inning to end the game.
Justin Masterson (1.1 innings), Hideki Okajima (0.2 innings) and Jonathan Papelbon (two innings) were all able to silence the Jays offense while Scott Downs (two innings) and BJ Ryan (1 inning) were perfect for the Jays until Leagues error. AJ Burnett was not at his best tonight but he did pitch seven innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks, while striking out seven batters.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was no better, going six innings and giving up seven runs on eight hits, one walk, while striking out eight batters.
Up next: Roy Halladay (15-9) starts off a very important series against James Shields (11-7) and the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays.