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News » Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2009-04-28


Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2009-04-28


Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2009-04-28
When a team loses its closer, it's usually a cause for alarm.

But not for the Blue Jays.

Before going on the disabled list with a strained trapezius muscle, lefty B.J. Ryan had gone 2-for-4 in save situations and his command and velocity were lacking.

With Ryan on the DL, manager Cito Gaston has turned to lefty Scott Downs, formerly the Jays' set-up pitcher, and he has been perfect, retiring six consecutive hitters in his two save situations to go 2-for-2 in that department. In nailing down the save in Sunday's 4-3 victory over the White Sox, Downs needed just eight pitches.

Downs has been a closer-in-waiting the past few seasons. Last year in 66 appearances, he posted a 1.78 ERA and logged 24 holds.

Through 10 appearances this season, Downs has allowed one run on five hits over 10 2/3 innings for a 0.84 ERA. He has not walked a batter, struck out 14 and has held hitters to a .121 average.

Downs, who is superstitious in that he doesn't like to be interviewed when he's on a roll, is fully prepared to thrive in the role in Ryan's absence.

"We're very fortunate," Gaston said of having a pitcher like Downs being ready to fill in.

ROYALS 7, BLUE JAYS 1: LHP David Purcey allowed three home runs as his record fell to 0-2 in five starts. The Jays, who lead the league in hits and batting average, were held to two hits, by DH Adam Lind and 3B Scott Rolen. 2B Aaron Hill went 0-for-3 as his hitting streak ended at 11 games. Purcey allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings, walked three and struck out three.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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