Whoa! I did not expect that.
On the Mound:
Brad Mills didn't really have his stuff working and, like other Jays pitchers this series, he struggled with the long ball. Mills got into trouble early with walks and later on with home runs and gave up 4 runs over 4. He did strike out 7 and walk just 2 over four innings, so it wasn't all bad, but someone with his batted ball tendencies is going to have to be more careful with powerful lineups to succeed in the bigs.
At the Plate:
The Jays actually did a nice job of putting runners on against Sox starter John Lackey, but it didn't materialize into many runs until the 9th. Through the first 8, the Jays scored only two runs, both on double play groundouts, despite some nice chances. Then in the 9th, with the Jays facing a sweep and down by 3, things really picked up. Jose Bautista (1-3 with a walk) lead off the inning by hitting his 36th home run and chasing Lackey out of the game. Jonathan Papelbon, not an individual for whom I care very much, took over and prompty gave up an opposite field double to Vernon Wells (2-4). Adam Lind (2-4) then singled Wells in for his second hit of the game. Cito substituted Dewayne Wise in as a pinch-runner for Lind. Wise swiped second and then moved to third when Aaron Hill (2-4) hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that Papelbon blocked with his leg. Paps stayed in the game to strike out Travis Snider (1-4) but then Edwin Encarnacion (1-4) came up with a huge double to tie the score and put Hill, the winning run, on third base with just one out. Lyle Overbay batted for Jose Molina and was walked to load the bases. Daniel Bard then came in to face Fred Lewis and Lewis lifted a fly ball to centre to give the Jays the win and narrowly avoid the sweep. He didn't get to bat in the all-important 9th, but Yunel Escobar had a couple of hits.
From the Pen:
With the Jays' starters struggling this whole series, the bullpen stepped up this game. David Purcey relieved Mills in the 5th and pitched well (1 2/3 innings, 1 hit, no walks, a K) until he was forced to leave the game when he stepped awkwardly on first base while covering. He's a DL candidate and it'll be interesting to see who gets called up if he goes on the list - maybe Accardo? Jason Frasor pitched a scoreless 7th. Scott Downs gave up a run scoring triple in the 8th after a fairly cheapie double but then struck out Jacoby Ellsbury with a runner on third to limit the damage. Kevin Gregg then pitched a clean ninth in what looked like make-work mopup duty at the time but turned out to be a key inning and made a winner out of him when the Jays scored 4 in the bottom of the ninth.
Narrowly avoiding a sweep at home is usually hardly cause for celebration but this was a fun one and felt good.
Making a big deal about J.P. Arencibia's Catcher ERA after 3 games would be a very silly example of creating a problem where none exists.
The Jays fly out to the left coast to take on the Anaheim Angels tomorrow.