A scorching summer afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field provided plenty of offence in today's ballgame. Toronto's lineup got to Gonzalez immediately, which was kicked off with back-to-back one-out singles from Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson. Edwin Encarnacion quickly capitalized by drilling a double to the gap in right-centre, but a strong relay throw from Brett Lawrie caught Donaldson at the plate to prevent a second run. The decision to send the runner cost the Jays greatly, but Michael Saunders and Troy Tulowitzki followed with back-to-back doubles to put Toronto out to a 3-0 lead.
Gonzalez did not fare much better in the 2nd, surrendering a walk to the light-hitting Josh Thole. With two outs in the inning, Devon Travis made him pay, belting a 2-0 offering into the left field bleachers. Heading into the bottom of the second, the Jays were out to a commanding 5-0 lead.
Dickey generated two quick outs to begin the 2nd, but his early success immediately came to a halt. Lawrie crushed the second pitch he saw off of the very top of the wall in left-centre. Kevin Pillar was unsuccessful in an attempt to make a spectacular catch, and seemed to believe that the ball went over the wall for a home run. When the ball bounced back into play, Lawrie did not stop running and ended up scoring on an inside-the-park home run. Both Dioner Navarro and J.B Shuck followed with home runs of their own, and this back-to-back-to-back homerun sequence cut the lead to 5-3.
After a quick third inning, Toronto's offence was back in business in the fourth. Gonzalez surrendered a one-out single to Ryan Goins, walked Thole yet again, before giving up another single to Ezequiel Carrera. Travis stepped up with the bases loaded, but could not take advantage as he hit an easy infield fly for the second out of the inning. Gonzalez was one-out away from getting out of the threat unscathed, but lost Donaldson on a full count to walk in Toronto's 6th run of the ballgame. Adding insult to injury, Encarnacion followed with a two-run single to right, which expanded the Blue Jays' lead to 8-3.
Even with a commanding five run edge, Toronto's pitching staff always seems to make things interesting. In the bottom half of the frame, Lawrie blasted his 2nd home run of the game, opting for an outside-of-the-park homerun this time around. With the lead down to 4, the Jays were given an opportunity to break the game open in the top of the 6th, but Saunders struck out with the bases loaded to end the frame.
Dickey began the bottom half with an 8-4 lead, but the 6th inning proved to be quite eventful. Todd Frazier reached base after Encarnacion just barely came off of the base while stretching for a throw, and Alex Avila immediately followed with a one-out double. Gavin Floyd entered to face Lawrie, but the former Blue Jay continued his big day with a RBI single to make it an 8-5 game. With runners on the corners and just one out, Floyd got Navarro to hit an easy fly out, but injured himself facing the next hitter. In came Jesse Chavez, who generated a groundball out to get the Jays out of further trouble.
With the lead down to 3, Drew Storen entered to begin the 7th and proceeded to make things even more interesting. Tim Anderson immediately welcomed him to the game with a leadoff homer, and Adam Eaton followed with a single and a stolen base. Chicago brought the tying run to the plate with still no outs, but Storen settled in and retired the next three hitters without much trouble.
With an 8-6 lead to begin the bottom half of the 8th, it was Jason Grilli's turn to give the Jays a serious scare. Just like Storen, the former closer was welcomed into the game with a leadoff homerun, this time courtesy of Avila. The lead was down to one, but three quick outs kept the 8-7 lead in tact heading into the 9th.
After being shutout over the previous four innings, Toronto's offence finally came back to life to provide some insurance runs. Donaldson singled, Encarnacion doubled, and Saunders reached on an error, before Tulowitzki scored two on a single to left. The lead was back up to 3, as Roberto Osuna entered to a 10-7 game in the ninth.
Unlike the two relievers that pitched before him, Osuna managed to keep the ball in the park against the first batter he faced. Instead, he switched things up by allowing a solo shot to the second batter of the inning, before surrendering a one-out single to Jose Abreu. The White Sox now boasted SEVEN homeruns on the afternoon, and former Blue Jay Melky Cabrera stepped up to the plate as the tying run. The comeback was not meant to be however, as an unassisted double play by Tulowitzki preserved the 10-8 victory for the Jays.
It's not everyday that you surrender seven home runs and still find a way to win. Jays of the day are Encarnacion (.193), and Donaldson (.151). Let's give one to Travis (.082) as well for a terrific performance. R.A. Dickey (-.109) was the only player with the low mark.
The series deciding game gets underway tomorrow at 2:10 pm ET, with Marcus Stroman up against a proven ace in Chris Sale.