Friday, July 31, 2015

Jays win in marathon

TORONTO—Jose Bautista made the most of his second chance.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger grounded out weakly with the bases loaded in the 13th inning yesterday, missing the chance to play hero against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre.

But when the opportunity came up again—six innings later, Bautista came through.
He hit an opposite field single over the head of a drawn-in outfield in the bottom of the 19th to score Munenori Kawasaki as the Jays capped the longest game in team history with a 6-5 come-from-behind win.
“I was just trying to see a pitch up in the zone and drive it into the outfield,” Bautista said in a quiet but jubilant Jays’ clubhouse.
“I got lucky that I connected well enough. . . .
“Obviously it was a great win for us.”
It was the second-straight extra-inning walk-off victory for the Jays (63-56) after the Tigers (62-53) took the series-opener Friday night by scoring three runs in the ninth to win 5-4.
“We had a long day today. We battled through a lot of things,” Bautista said.
“Coming out on top at the end of the day is the only thing that matters and we were able to do it.”
The Jays’ bullpen was superb—holding the heavy-hitting Tigers scoreless over the final 15 2/3 innings after veteran starter Mark Buehrle was pulled with Toronto down 5-0 and one out in the Detroit fourth.
“They did a great job, kept us in the ball game,” said centrefielder Colby Rasmus, who made two great catches in extra innings to keep the Tigers off the board.
“It was huge. . . .
“Thankfully we were able to push one across there,” he added. “It was a grind all day.”
At six hours, and 37 minutes, and 19 innings, it was the longest game in Jays’ history both in terms of duration and the number of innings.
Chad Jenkins (1-1) was the last of Toronto’s eight pitchers on the day, giving up seven hits over six scoreless innings in his longest outing of the year.
“Exhausted,” was how Jenkins summed up his feelings post-game, adding he would not have been able to come out and pitch another inning if the Jays hadn’t scored the winner in the 19th.
“I was running low on fumes,” noted Jenkins.
Jenkins paid tribute to the thousands among the sell-out crowd of 46,126 who stayed and cheered a game that was both one inning—and 39 minutes—longer than the Jays had ever played before.
“For the fans who sat through all of it, thank you, that was awesome,” Jenkins lauded.
“It’s really exciting to look up and see it’s 7:30 and there’s still people here cheering, going crazy, going nuts.
“It made it so much better.”
Both teams had their chances to end it sooner.
The Jays had several glorious chances. But Juan Francisco in the ninth and 15th innings, and Bautista in the 13th, failed to produce the winning run with the bases loaded.
The Blue Jays left 24 runners on base.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the 16th but Jenkins coaxed a double play from Torii Hunter to keep it 5-5.
Detroit left 19 runners on base in all.
“Despite the fact that both teams were bending at times, they weren’t breaking until the bottom of the 19th,” said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus, who was ejected in the middle of the third inning for arguing.
Toronto now hits the road for eight games over the next 10 days, beginning tonight in Seattle.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota beat Oakland 6-1, Cleveland downed New York 4-1, Texas upended Houston 6-2, Boston shaded L.A. 3-1, and Seattle doubled Chicago 4-2.
Over in the NL, Atlanta beat Washington 3-1, Cincinnati downed Miami 7-2, Philadelphia topped New York 7-6, San Diego dumped Pittsburgh 8-2, L.A. upended Milwaukee 5-1, and Colorado trimmed Arizona 5-3 (10 innings).
In interleague play, St. Louis beat Baltimore 8-3, Kansas City downed San Francisco 7-4, and the Chicago Cubs edged Tampa Bay 3-2 (12 innings).

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