In case you hadn’t realized, it ain’t easy hanging with the big boys in the AL East. Shortly after Scotty Downs blew his 83rd game in the past fiscal year last night, Boston finished off a three-game sweep of the first place Rays at Fenway, pulling a half-game ahead of the Jays and dropping them to fourth in the division. A bit of a bad hand considering the way Toronto has played thus far, but nothing we’re not used to.
Yesterday’s 6-5 loss was the Jays’ second consecutive to the Angels, and a bit of a tough one to take after a late push sent a tie game to the bottom of the ninth. Bobby Abreu, whose error the previous half gave the Toronto a chance to tie, handled the walkoff honours for Los Angeles, driving home the winner with a bases-loaded single off Downs with two out in the inning. I shouldn’t be too tough on Downsy — the run was the first he’d given up since April 27, after all — but he’s still taken the loss in each of the last four outings he’s surrendered runs in.
Brandon Morrow had another of his typical starts, coughing up an early 3-0 lead and leaving after giving up three runs through five with four walks and six strikeouts. Rommie Lewis gave up a pair of runs in the sixth to give the Angels a 5-3 lead before RBI doubles by Edwin Encarnacion in the seventh and John Buck in the ninth pulled the Jays even. Encarnacion also “drove” one home with a bases-loaded walk in the second, giving him 13 RBIs in nine games since coming off the disabled list early last week.
The loss concludes Toronto’s west coast swing at 3-5 — not all that bad, considering similar trips they’ve made over the past 33 years. Luckily, the cure for a two-game losing streaks rolls into Rogers Centre tomorrow night as well — you guessed it, the Baltimore Super Orioles! Shaun Marcum (4-1, 2.82) gets the ball in the opener against Kevin Millwood (0-4, 3.71) tomorrow night.