R.A. Dickey started for the Blue Jays but was ineffective early on, walking three in his first two innings. He would finish 6.2 innings, responsible for six earned runs on nine hits. Danny Valencia and Adam Jones had homers off of him. Manny Machado was largely silent in the game, going 0-for-5 with a couple of strikeouts, but Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy, driving in two runs each. Dickey settled down from the fourth to the sixth but in the seventh, Jones hit a solo shot--a no-doubter to left field--and that was the difference in the game. It seems to me that this season, Dickey has had problems commanding his knuckleball early on, but does tend to settle down after a while.
The bullpen did some great work, good work with Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup combining for 1.1 innings of perfect baseball, with Cecil recording three strikeouts out from the four batters he faced.
Once again, the Blue Jays were down 3-0 before they got a chance to bat. But like Friday night's game, they scored one right back in the first, this time on an Adam Lind single to score Melky Cabrera. Lind had a heck of a day, going 3-for-5 to push his average up to .299. Cabrera, who went 2-for-5 with an RBI-single to score the Jays' last run, had a memorable day on defense too. He gunned down Chris Snyder on an attempt to stretch a single into a double in the second inning, then in the fourth, he had a fantastic catch to retire Jones, crashing up against the Plexiglas portion of the left field wall that covers the videoboard.
The Blue Jays had a rally in the bottom of the eighth, started by a Brett Lawrie double. Colby Rasmus then hit a liner down the right field line that was just foul by a centimetre or so. It was so close that the umpires agreed to huddle and discuss when John Gibbons came out to ask for a second opinion. Later in the inning, Maicer Izturis hit a rocket into the second deck, again just foul. He walked, putting runners on first and second for Munenori Kawasaki. Instead of pinch hitting for J.P. Arencibia, Gibbons decided to let Kawasaki hit, and the MLB All-Star Game write-in candidate delivered: singling home Lawrie on the first pitch to bring the score to 6-4. Cabrera followed with his RBI-single but then Jose Bautista hit a weak grounder to Hardy to end the threat.
The other two Jays runs were scored on a solo homer by Emilio Bonifacio in the second, and what was ruled a throwing error by pitcher Freddy Garcia in the fifth, although replays showed that Brett Lawrie was running outside the running lane. Jim Johnson had a 1-2-3 ninth to record his first save after blowing three straight.
Nobody got hurt, or ejected.
Jays of the Day! Brett Lawrie (+.134 WPA).
Suckage Jays: R.A. Dickey (-.302), Edwin Encarnacion (-.288), Colby Rasmus (-.211)
I am now off to meet Tom at the Bluebird Banter Toronto Meetup at Elephant & Castle! Do stop by and say hi if you're around!