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Having to Hold Back Taught Me a Lot About Control: Blue Jays Hold On to Beat Twins 2-1

Well, that was a close one but the Jays managed to hang out and pull it out, in spite of some pretty dicey moments. The teams traded goose eggs for the first few innings before the Twins finally broke through against Andrew Hutchison . . . or, rather, Hutch kind of fell apart. With two on and two out, Hutchison walked Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe back-to-back before inducing an inning-ending groundout. The Jays got the run right back, thanks to a long double by Colby Rasmus and a clean single by Adam Lind. The next inning, Jose Bautista, Jedi Knight and friend to Captain Solo, drilled an liner over the leftfield fence -- or was it? The field call was that it hit the top of the fence but, following a short review process, the ruling was changed and Bautista was awarded the homerun that he had so rightfully earned. That was all the scoring the Jays got. Fortunately, they managed to get out of some tight spots, thanks to some fortuitous bounces. I recall three plays on which balls ricocheted off one fielder's glove and directly to another fielder: 1) a hard grounder to Brett Lawrie that bounced to Yunel Escobar; 2) a foul pop-fly that bounced off a backpedaling Lawrie's glove into the waiting hands of Eric Thames; and 3) a chopper that bounced off Hutch's glove and straight to Escobar for an inning-ending out. I may have forgotten one, though I don't think I did.

On the Mound
Hutch escaped with just the one run that he'd walked in. Although his final line (6 IP, 4 K, 4 BB, 3 H) was somewhat uninspiring, he did keep nine of sixteen batted balls on the ground and limited the damage when he had to. He was clearly somewhat rattled when he walked in the run but he showed some poise in settling down. He received some help from the defence (Colby made a particularly nice catch out in leftcentre) but he did battle. This was far from his best performance, however, and he's going to need a little more to remain effective.

At the Plate
The Jays, much like the Twins, did not muster much of an offensive showing. They did manage seven hits total. Bautista added a linedrive single to his homerun and Colby Rasmus had two hits as well. There were no other extra-base hits and, aside from Adam Lind's RBI single, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar were the only ones to hit at all.

From the Pen
Francisco Cordero -- well, let's just say that it's a good thing that the ball that bounced off Lawries glove found Eric Thames. The seventh inning was a nailbiter. Jason Frasor gave up what looked like it might be a game-tying homerun to Joe Mauer to lead off the eighth, but the ball bounced off the top of the wall and ended up being a double. Frasor got a couple outs and walked a batter before Luis Perez came in for a strikeout to end that threat. Casey Janssen came in for the save and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, though even he gave up a somewhat hard-hit fliner to Rajai Davis, who'd come into leftfield as a defensive replacement for Thames.

All in all, a good game and it is great to see Joey Bats continue to hit.

Jays of the Day: Hutchison (0.22), Janssen (0.19), Bautista (0.13), Perez (0.12), and Cordero (0.11) have the numbers. I'm giving one to Rasmus for a nice play in centre and a nice night at the dish. Honourable mention to Adam Lind for the RBI single.
Escobar would get the Hinske for a rough night at the plate but I'm not giving it to him -- his quick reactions to bounces off other fielders' gloves likely saved the team at least a run or two.

The Jays look to take the four-game set definitively tomorrow at 2 pm eastern. Ricky Romero starts for the bluebirds against Guelph-born Scott (not Jared) Diamond in the final game. Go Jays, Go!

Today's title courtesy of St. Paul's own Hüsker Dü's "Terms of Psychic Warfare"