Welcome back to the bullpen, Brian Tallet. The lefty was officially re-initiated into the Jays’ relief corps this afternoon, giving up five runs in the sixth inning to turn a one-run lead into a 7-3 deficit in a game Toronto eventually lost 9-6 to the Giants. Tallet relieved Shaun Marcum, who gave up a couple runs (one of which was unearned, thanks to another Edwin Encarnacion masterpiece at third) over five scrappy innings.
Marcum wasn’t at his best — he walked five and threw 102 pitches over five — but got out of jams and left in position to win, thanks to a two singles by John Buck that cashed in a pair and a single run in the second and third. Tallet put to bed any chances of holding on immediately, walking Edgar Renteria to start the sixth before giving up a double to Aaron Rowand, a single to Andres Torres and a three-run bomb to Freddy Sanchez. Pat Burrell added a two-run homer off David Purcey with two down in the eighth after Fred Lewis dropped an Aubrey Huff liner a couple batters earlier.
Toronto clawed its way closer in the ninth after Cito went to his bench, thanks in part to a Johnny McDonald two-run homer — just the 14th of his career, and all-the-more incredible considering it came in his first at-bat since his dad passed away last week. Even the nicest guy in the world can’t be expected to do something that fine on Father’s Day, but Johnny Mac did. Definitely one of the most touching moments I’ve witnessed watching baseball, and a bit of a happy ending to an another dismal game.
The Jays still come out with two of three against the Giants despite the loss, with St. Louis in for a three-gamer starting Tuesday. Brett Cecil (7-3, 3.58) gets the ball in the opener against the Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia (6-3, 1.59).