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Jays Beat Rays 8-5 with Big Hurt, Big Pen!

The Happy Recap
The Jays evened their record to 2-2 by defeating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays .

The Jays started things off quicky, with Johnson and Overbay scoring on a Wells Sac Fly and Glaus Fielder's Choice, respectively. They struck the big blow in the 2nd in the form of a Big Hurt Grand Slam, and it was a beaut - looked like over 450 ft. Reed Johnson added an RBI double in the 4th and things looked very promising indeed.

Unfortunately, Tomo Okha, who looked just fine in the early going (although he did give up leadoff HR to Carl Crawford in the 1st), was unable to hold the 7-1 lead long enough to get the win, as he gave up a HR in the 4th to Brendan Harris and then allowed BJ Upton to score on a wild pitch.

However, the Jays could count on the bullpen, as Downs and Marcum closed out the 5th and Marcum continued for 2 more fantastic innings, striking out 5 and allowing no hits or walks. With a save situation, Frasor pitched a scoreless, although somewhat shaky 8th, and BJ Ryan rebounded nicely with a perfect 9th.

Clayton Watch : Clayton was 2-4 with a BB and an RBI single in the 9th for a nice insurance run. I must say, he has looked quite good in the field so far. I know his range may be nothing to shout about, but he is smooth enough. Certainly a better fielder and hitter than MacDonald.

On early thoughts, the Jays have shown some more consistency at the plate, and 7 walks was nice to see yesterday. Thomas seems healthy, happy, and hurtful (to opponents). Rios and Hill have only been okay so far, but their time will come. Okha was not impressive, but wasn't horrible. If he can limit the HRs a bit, he'll be fine, although he walked too many. The bullpen has been fantastic, with Janssen and Marcum being the secret weapons so far. The pair are effective enough to come into a tight game and hold a lead but durable enough to pitch several innings at a time and rescue a faltering starter. The only thing is, do we really want Downs as a LOOGY? He was very effective in longer outings last year. What about Accardo and his splitter taking lefties?

Doc faces off against Kazmir this afternoon, with Josh Towers not getting his first start until tomorrow.

Jays of the Day
Thomas for the big blast, Marcum for some splendid relief work to really bail out the team, Sparky for getting on base, doing a great job setting the table, and generally making the Rays miserable. Honorable Mention to Ryan for nicely rebounding from Friday to post a perfect 9th!

Happy Easter Bluebird Banterers!