This game had a little of everything. Aside from a Fred Lewis miscue in leftfield (which was scored a double), both Shaun Marcum and Mark Buehrle were dealing through the fifth inning, when Randy Ruiz doubled and John Buck brought him home with a two-run homer. The White Sox came right back, however, as Mark Kotsay hit a two-run homer in the bottom in the inning. The White Sox took the lead in the sixth when former Jay Alex Rios hit a solo homer to make the score 3-2. The Jays managed to load the bases in the eighth and tied it up on a Vernon Wells walk. With loaded bases and one out, they were in an excellent position to take the lead, but Cito left Lyle Overbay in against Mark Beuhrle . . . you can guess the result. Shaun Marcum almost got through the eighth before Alex Gonzalez booted a ball with two outs. Shawn Camp came in and got the Jays out of the inning. Bobby Jenks came in to pitch the ninth for the White Sox. After Adam Lind struck out to lead off the ninth, John Buck homered a second time to put the Jays ahead. They managed to load the bases again, but this time Vernon Wells grounded out to short. Kevin Gregg came in to close it and on the first pitch he threw, A.J. Pierzynski tied up the game with a soul-crushing homerun. Gregg did not look good at all tonight, walking another two before escaping from the inning (thanks possibly in part to a sacrifice bunt and an unsuccessful bunt hit attempt by Juan Pierre). Matt Thornton pitched the 10th and 11th for the Pale Hose and absolutely embarrassed Jays hitters striking out five without giving up an hit over the two innings. Jason Frasor pitched a scoreless 10th and Scott Downs pitched a scoreless 11th. In the top of the 12th, J.J. Putz came in to relieve and got two quick outs but Vernon Wells worked a walk and Lyle Overbay had a good at-bat before ripping a single on a full count. Alex Gonzalez followed up with a monster 3-run homer to leftfield. Downs stayed in for the bottom of the twelfth and retired the Sox in order to secure the win. All in all, expert managing by Cito to make sure that the Sox would burn Matt Thornton's arm so we don't have to see him tomorrow night when Brett Cecil and Jake Peavy face off. Cecil tries to win the Jays their seventh straight!
At the plate, there was quite a bit to like. Buck went 2-5 with the two dingers, Vernon went 2-4 and walked twice and Gonzo was just 1-6, but it was, of course a big one. Before being pinch-hit for with Adam Lind, Randy Ruiz went 2-3 with the double, Travis Snider had another good day at the plate going 3-5 and Fred Lewis had two hits (though he also struck out twice). There was also some that wasn't so great. Aaron Hill went 0-6 and, aside from his last at bat, Lyle Overbay had a rough night (though he did line out the other way once). Adam Lind continued his slump, striking out all three times he came up to the plate. Jose Bautista went 0-4, but then he did walk twice so at least he got on.
On the pitching side, Shaun Marcum took a no-decision but pitched pretty well. He threw a couple gopher balls, but did a good job keeping guys off the bases and went deep into this one (obviously important, as the game went 12 innings). He finished his day going 7 2/3 yielding three runs on six hits, no walks and striking out two. Gregg looked bad in his inning of work, but thankfully it didn't end up costing us. Frasor and Downs both looked good. Camp only pitched to one batter, but he did get him out.
Jays of the Day go to Scott Downs (.185), Jason Frasor (.142), John Buck (.402), Vernon Wells (.186), Alex Gonzalez (.185)
Batista goes Kevin Gregg (-.293) and Hinskes go to Aaron Hill (-.286), Lyle Overbay (-.213) and Adam Lind (-.098).
Honourable mention to Shaun Marcum, Travis Snider and Shawn Camp.