The Jays jumped out to an early lead against the Tampa Bay Rays and nemesis Matt Garza today and held out for the victory, winning their 3rd in 4 games.
At the Plate:
The Jays jumped out to an early lead today, but it was by taking the patient approach. It was a less hacktastic Jays team at the plate today, and they forced Garza to serve up over 40 pitches in the first inning while running through the whole lineup. Fred Lewis got things started in the first and set the table all night, reaching base three times. Vernon Wells got the scoring started with a laser-shot RBI double (7th of the season), the first of his two hits. Jose Bautista had 3 doubles, Adam Lind walked twice, Alex Gonzalez had a couple of hits, and even Lyle Overbay got in on the act with an RBI double. But best of all to see was Aaron Hill hitting a home run in his first game back in the 6th inning, a run that turned out to be key. Buck and Snider were the 0 fers there at the bottom of the lineup.
On the Mound:
With Brian Tallet bothered by forearm tightness, Brett Cecil got the call today for his first start of 2010, making good on the team's promise that he'd be the first one called up. Largely Cecil answered the call, breezing through the first 4 innings until Willy Aybar homered in the 5th. From there on out, Cecil had some more trouble as the Rays fought their way back, giving up a Ben Zobrist RBI double in the 6th and a Gabe Kapler home run in the 7th before exiting the game. Still, the four runs shouldn't overshadow what was an encouraging start for Cecil - he struck out 8 and walked just one in his 6 2/3 innings against a very tough offense. I would've liked to see more grounders, but I'm looking forward to seeing his next start.
From the Pen:
Jason Frasor's troubles continued, walking two and giving up a BJ Upton single and a run before getting bailed out by Kevin Gregg. Gregg was quite good by the way - he gave up a Carl Crawford double but worked around it to close out what had become a very close game.
In the Field:
Jose Bautista looked great at the plate today, but he didn't look so great in the field. He looked a bit slow in reacting. He does have a great arm, but I'm not sold on him as an everyday third baseman. But it was great to see Hill out there at second.
All in all, a great game. And of course it's worth pointing out that in his first start Brett Cecil at least equaled the performance (and the inning digestion) of Brian Tallet's best start so far this season.