Blue Jays Rock The Cassevah, Encarnacion Tightens The Garrett On Angels' Season

Alas, poor Vernon...

Scioscia don't like it, but tonight's seventh inning isn't going to look good on his Manger of the Year resume.

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Although Ervin Santana appeared just as gassed throwing pitch #1 as he did throwing pitch #104--which some guy named Eric Thames put in the seats to lead off the seventh--only one of the eleven baserunners he allowed over the previous six innings came around to score. The seventh was one bridge too far for Santana's 3-1 lead. Bobby Cassevah and Mark Trumbo took the Jays the rest of the way, allowing one circus-like run on a combination of walks, errors, and wild pitches. Edwin Encarnacion finally declared Game Over with a lead-off homer served up by Garrett Richards in the 12th.

Unfortunately, this one botched inning will distract from Scioscia's genuinely intelligent deviations from the bullpen flowchart in innings 8-11. Scott Downs actually threw 29 pitches over 1 2/3 innings before getting pulled at an appropriately tense moment for closer Jordan Walden, who was even invited back to pitch the next frame. Plus, Garrett Richards briefly flashed his dazzling potential in an impressive 11th. Meanwhile, the Angels offense did literally nothing, making 14 consecutive outs until Peter Bourjos finally took the Angels' first walk of the night with two outs in the 12th. Pinch-catcher Jeff Mathis promptly popped up a pitch into foul territory.

By the time it was over, the Blue Jays had seventeen baserunners to the Angels' nine, so the only real surprise was how long it took the game to end. The loss stagnates the Angels at five games behind Texas in the AL West, and three games behind Boston and another one game behind the Rays in the AL Wild Card race. They're just good enough to keep climbing back into the fight, but unable to climb over the top.  With only six more games to play, this team appears to be finalizing a reputation for anticlimactic comebacks in the standings.

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