TORONTO – About half way through his pregame warm-up session, Toronto
Blue Jays starter Brian Tallet realized he could be in for a difficult
afternoon and he struggled for the first two innings.
But the left-hander, supported by Alex Rios’s four
hits and two RBIs, including the seventh-inning tiebreaker, came up
with a solid seven innings as the Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox
5-3 for their second win in a row before a crowd of 35,484 at the
Rogers Centre on Saturday.
Adam Lind also had two hits and two RBIs, including
the game-tying home run in the sixth, his eighth of the season, against
Red Sox starter Brad Penny.
Rocco Baldelli homered for the Red Sox in the second
inning before leaving the game after bruising his knee trying to catch
a foul ball in the fifth inning.
The Blue Jays scored twice in the seventh against
reliever Ramon Ramirez (4-2), the first on a single by Rios that ended
the 3-3 tie and the second on a double by Vernon Wells. Marco Scutaro
led off the bottom of the inning with an infield hit and took second on
a wild pitch.
Scott Downs pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
Tallet said his warmup started out well.
“Then, somewhere in the middle of it, it just went
bad,” he said. “It did. Everything was bad. As I was walking in I said
… we’re going to have to grind this out, we’re going to have to find
a way to get this done.
“I went out for the first two innings and I didn’t have the answer yet.”
After allowing two hits, four walks and three runs in
the first two innings, Tallet (3-3) gave up one hit and hit one batter
the rest of his start.
Now, the 29-23 Blue Jays have a chance to sweep the 28-22 Red Sox in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday.
The Blue Jays were swept in Boston on May 19-21 to
start a string of nine consecutive losses that ended with Friday’s 6-3
“It was a physical thing,” Tallet said. “The front side was flying open.”
After the second inning and 59 pitches on his way to
a season-high 118 for the game, he was able to correct the flaw that
was costing him control and command of his pitches.
“It was mentally challenging for me today,” said
Tallet, who was recruited from the bullpen in April to shore up an
injury-depleted rotation. “That’s what’s so great about this game.
“You can be horrible and then all it takes is just a
couple of pitches for the light switch to flip on and there it is,
let’s just do that as opposed to what you were doing before.”
“He said to me he had a so-so bullpen and took it
right to the mound,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “He realized
what he was doing and corrected it. That’s telling you he’s getting a
little smarter out there all the time and knowing himself, too.”
“He was able to throw 2-0, 2-1 changeups, cutters,
sliders,” Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said. “He just wasn’t able to
do that early. He was able to pretty much throw any pitch in any
Tallet put himself in trouble in the first with a
one-out walk to Dustin Pedroia and a two-out walk to Jason Bay. Mike
Lowell hit a run-scoring single.
The Blue Jays tied the game with an unearned run in
their half of the first as Rios drove home Aaron Hill with a one-out
single. Hill was on second after a single and an error by right fielder
Baldelli’s second homer of the season followed Varitek’s leadoff walk in the second to put the Red Sox ahead 3-1.
Tallet didn’t allow another base runner until he hit
Pedroia with a pitch in the fifth and then picked him off. Nick Green’s
two-out double in the seventh was Boston’s first hit since the second
The Red Sox lead was cut to 3-2 in the third when Lind’s two-out single scored Rios who doubled with one out.
Lind led off the bottom of the sixth with his eighth home run of the season, a drive to left, to tie the game 3-3.
“Rios had a great day,” Gaston said. ” I’m really
happy about that and Wells had a big hit and so did Lind. I hope they
get hot for the next three months, that would be great. We need
“He’s a big part of our lineup. The two guys up
front, the first and second hitters 1/8Scutaro and Hill 3/8 have been
getting on pretty much all year, and if Rios starts to get on and Wells
starts to swing as we know he can, it’s going to be a great offence for
“It’s still a work in progress,” Wells said. “I
missed a couple of pitches today. It’s just a matter of not missing my
pitch. But on a consistent basis I feel much better.
“If we’re going to have to get where we need to be we’re going to have to do it in the middle of the lineup.”
“We haven’t lost our confidence,” Rios said. “We’ve
been working hard and we’re going to keep working hard. We’re going to
get out of this and we’re going to start winning and everything will be