With Biagini sent down to the minors, Liriano traded to the Houston Astros, and Montero and Tulowitzki on the DL, the Blue Jays had some gaps to fill.
It was a close game throughout, Jays fans sitting on the edge of their seats, hoping that tonight wouldn’t be a repeat of last nights 16-7 blowout. And it wasn’t even close to being the same game as the night before.
The Jays started off well when Donaldson hit a double in the first inning, bringing in Bautista to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. But in the bottom of the first with a runner on base, the Astros hit a dinger that gave them a 2-1 edge. With bases loaded for the Jays in the second, Bautista was thrown out at first, but brought Pearce home to tie the game 2-2. Houston would come back in the third with another homerun to give the Astros a 3-2 lead.
Apparently the home base ump had quite a large strike zone tonight. In the top of the 5th inning, Smoak struck out on what was clearly a wide pitch. And it happened again later in the game to the Astros. On the flip side, I’d hate to be the ump that had to call the winning run at home plate. But more on that a little later.
With a nifty double play in the bottom of the 5th, and a fast-paced 6th inning, the 7th inning is when the magic happened. Pillar had a base hit and Barney made an in-field hit that sent Pillar to third. With Bautista at bat, and a couple of errors by the Astros, Pillar came home to tie the game at 3-3.
Bottom of the 8th, after a hell of a game, Estrada retired for the night and Tepera stepped up to the mound. In spite of a pitch hitting Martin right in the chops, throwing the mask from his face, Tepera threw a solid inning. At the bottom of 9, Tepera’s pitching, and a couple fly outs to Pearce and Bautista would force extra innings. Liriano stepped onto the mound to start the 10th. Smoak got a hit, but they caught him at first base. Refsnyder was given a walk, which would later prove helpful later on.
With Pearce up to bat, Refsnyder stole to second base just before Pearce was visibly upset at striking out. With Goins up next, he slapped one into the outfield for a double and Refsnyder tried his luck getting home. As I said earlier, I’d hate to be the ump that made that call at home. The catcher had to step out in front of home base to make the catch from the outfield and then stretched out to tag Refsnyder at home. But Refsnyder’s acrobatics proved fruitful as he reached around the catcher to tag the base before the catcher could get at him. After watching the replays, I don’t think the catcher tagged him at all during the play.
In spite of everything that happened, Refsnyder was tonight’s hero with the winning run after the Jays and Osuna shut down the Astros at the bottom of 10 innings. The Toronto Blue Jays took the 4-3 win. Redemption is sweet.
Estrada – 7 innings pitched, 7 strikeouts
Tepera – 2 innings pitched, 2 strikeouts
Osuna – 1 inning pitched, 2 strikeouts
Bautista – 2 RBI, 1 run
Pearce – 1 run
Refsnyder – 1 run
Pillar – 1 run
Donaldson – 1 RBI
Goins – 2 hits
Barney – 3 hits