The Jays complete a series sweep against the Cardinals on the road behind some timely hitting and a great pitching performance from Ricky Romero.
Romero dominated the Cards this afternoon for his third complete game this season and the second shutout of his promising, young career, striking out five and generating plenty of worm-burners, while yielding just seven baserunners (four hits, two walks, one hit batsman). There were only two scary moments today. Andrew Brown led off the bottom of the fifth with a flyball to leftcentre, fairly deep but easily playable. Corey Patterson and Juan Rivera converged on the ball, but neither caught it (really, this one should have been Patterson's) and Brown ended up at second with none out. After the Cardinals (foolishly) had Colby Rasmus sacrifice Brown over to third, Romero got the next batter to ground out to third, intentionally walked the number eight batter, and struck out the Cardinals starter Kyle McClellan handily. Considering that the number eight batter was in the hole after Rasmus sacrificed and this was the tying run in the bottom of the fifth inning, the sacrifice really was extremely poorly conceived. The second scary moment was in the ninth, when Lance Berkman sent one back through the box that hit off Ricky's leg for a single, but Romero stayed in the game and went on to get the next batter to ground into a double play to finish the Cards for the weekend.
The offence today showed up a bit more than it has most of the season, but the damage was mostly done all at once. It looked like things would go well at the start when Yunel Escobar and Aaron Hill both reached, but three quick outs later and it started to look like Ricky might not get much run support today, either. J.P. Arencibia homered in the top of the second and, although that was all that was really necessary, the Jays piled on another four runs in the top of the sixth inning (thanks in no small part to a two-run single that Romero hit after the Cardinals intentionally walked Arencibia to face him with loaded bases and just one out). This was another questionable Cardinals managerial move and it came back to bite them hard. That was pretty much all the damage the offence did, though they did scatter a bunch of hits and drew four walks on the afternoon.
Jays of the Day: Ricky (+0.350 pitching, +0.054 at the plate) and Patterson (+0.102) were the only one with the numbers. I'm going to take it away from Patterson for the fielding miscue, but I will give him the honourable mention. I'm also giving honourable mention to Yunel (+0.083) for going 2-4 with a walk and a double and Arencibia (+0.073) for the homerun.
No suckage awards, though Bautista came close (-.092).