Great game this afternoon, as the Jays took the home series from the Angels. It was a bit of a nailbiter, requiring the Jays to come back in the ninth to tie it and plate a runner in the tenth for the walk-off, but that's part of what makes this game fun.
Brett Cecil started this one and had a rough first inning, escaping after a two-run homer by Torii Hunter. Cecil bounced back to have a decent start, going 7 innings and yielding four runs. Cecil struck out just three batters, but against no walks and just five hits, it wasn't so bad at all. Relieving Cecil, Casey Janssen struck out a batter during perfect eight and Frank Francisco worked his way around a leadoff single by Bobby Abreu (who then stole second and third) during the ninth. Rauch came on and pitched a perfect tenth (also striking out a batter) for the vultured win.
Facing Danny Haren, the Jays got about as much offence as expected: just five hits total over the first five innings, though two of those hits were back-to-back homeruns by Eric Thames and Jose Bautista. The bats came alive against the bullpen, though, as the Jays almost (and, were it not for a Yunel Escobar sacrifice bunt and more overly aggressive baserunning by John McDonald, who had a nice day at the plate, would have) plated a run against Scott Downs in the eighth. Jordan Walden was not as lucky, Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie (after a bad strike call on a 3-1 count prevented him from walking) hit back-to-back doubles to tie it up. Lawrie stole third but J.P. Arencibia struck out and John McDonald flew out to shallow centre to end the threat. The Jays put the deciding run across next inning, when Francisco Rodney walked Escobar to lead off the inning. After failing to get the bunt down, Mark Teahen (who replaced an injured Rajai Davis on Mac's poor baserunning play) struck out, but Jose Bautista walked to put runners at first and second. The Angels went to the lefty, Hisanori Takahashi, to face Adam Lind but the strategy backfired when lefty-masher Edwin Encarnacion hit an absolute bullet to left-centre.
Jays of the Day go to Brett Lawrie (.433, plus he started a great two-rundown double play), EE (.337), Bautista (.253), and Jon Rauch (.143). I'm giving one to Thames (.083) for the homerun, too.
Suckage Awards go to Lind (-0.311), Arencibia (-0.284), and Davis (-0.129), though it seems unfair to penalize him for Mac's baserunning. Cecil (-0.095) is close but I don't think he deserves one, anyway.
The Jays are in Seattle tomorrow night. It's a late one (10 pm eastern start) but the pitching matchup (Henderson Alvarez vs. Michael Pineda) sure is intriguing.
Thanks to Freddie T and the People for today's post title.