Tom Szczerbowski - Getty Images
Chad Jenkins, filling in for Carlos Villanueva, goes the minimum but secures first career win as the Blue Jays win over the Twins 4-3 at Rogers Centre.
Twins 3 @ Blue Jays 4
Twenty-four year old Stephen Chadwick Jenkins will remember game 161 of the 2012 season--a game played in Toronto at the Rogers Centre in front of 13,930 (including yours truly) fans. Chad Jenkins threw 5+ innings in his third Major League start, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits with 2 strikeouts and a walk. Not the best line, but hey--he got his first win as a Major League pitcher out of the way. Not too shabby for a guy who had a 4.96 ERA and 1.539 WHIP in AA New Hampshire this season.
Jenkins was helped by unlikely offensive heroes. Rajai Davis got the blue birds in flight with a single in the 3rd, and Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer in the 4th, literally just as I was walking into the Rogers Centre (late meeting at work). Yunel Escobar then followed up with an RBI-single before he was thrown out by Matt Carson trying to advance to second base to make it 4-0 Blue Jays.
In the top of the 6th, Jenkins wasn't able to retire anyone, allowing a single to Eduardo Escobar in front of a Denard Span two-run shot to right. Manager John Farrell called on Aaron Loup to finish the inning, who got out of it without allowing any more runs. Steve Delasbar was the only reliever of the night to give up a run--Loup, Darren Oliver, and closer Casey Janssen each gave up a hit but nothing more. Janssen earned his 22nd save as well as the standing ovation of 13,930 very loud fans.
So the Jays have won two in a row and are now 72-89 overall and 40-40 at Rogers Centre. A win tomorrow prevents a 90-loss season and will mean a winning season at home. The Red Sox's loss to the Yankees today means that the Blue Jays will finish fourth in the AL East for the 5th consecutive year.
Jays of the Day! Chad Jenkins (+.133 WPA) gets first billing, Casey Janssen (+.173), Darren Oliver (+.126), Kelly Johnson (+.113).
No suckage Jays tonight.
The Blue Jays finish off their 2012 season tomorrow against the same Minnesota Twins. I know that it's been a long, difficult season, but I know I'll miss this team. GO JAYS GO!!!