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News » Walk to Gardner haunts Tallet


Walk to Gardner haunts Tallet


Walk to Gardner haunts Tallet
For Brian Tallet, the defining moment wasn't the home run that Hideki Matsui smacked in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie.

It didn't come in the first inning either, when the Toronto Blue Jays starter served up three of the five walks he issued over the course of six-plus innings.

It was a seemingly innocuous free pass that he grudgingly gave New York Yankees batter Brett Gardner leading off the seventh inning that was left sticking in Tallet's craw well after the game ended in a 3-2 Yankees victory.

"I got that guy out two times," Tallet said. "What am I doing walking him? It's not that I was trying to walk him. But in that situation you've got to make him hit the ball and let your defence play behind you and I didn't."

With Gardner perched at first, Yankees manager Joe Girardi had the opportunity to play a little hit-and-run, which New York did to perfection with Francisco Cervelli in the batter's box.

With Gardner off and running, Toronto shortstop Marco Scutaro bolted toward second to cover the bag when Cervelli smacked a ground ball through the gaping hole on the left side.

Gardner wound up on third and later came in to score on a single by Derek Jeter that knotted the score 2-2.

And when Matsui took Toronto reliever Jesse Carlson deep to right-centre in the next inning, the Yankees had their go-ahead run. They then hung on for the victory in the rubber game of the three-game set.

The loss was the second in a row for the American League East-leading Jays , just the third time this season they have bowed back to back.

After the game, Toronto manager Cito Gaston said that the Jays had activated former closer B.J. Ryan from the 15-day disabled list and optioned reliever Bill Murphy to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Ryan, however, will not return as the team's closer. The Blue Jays said they are planning on sticking with left-hander Scott Downs for the foreseeable future.

"You can't keep him away forever," Gaston said of Ryan, who has been on the DL with a minor left shoulder injury since April 23. "Hopefully he can come back and help us."

Apart from the final score, the crowd was also a disappointment - 22,667 on a comfortably cool, but breezy night with the roof cranked open for the first time this season.

Those who stayed away missed a pretty fair pitching performance that pitted Tallet, making his sixth start since getting liberated from the Toronto bullpen, against CC Sabathia, the Yankees' $161-million (U.S.) man.

Sabathia ultimately prevailed, giving up both Toronto runs on just five hits over eight innings to lift his record to 3-3.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera came into the game in the ninth to earn his seventh save.

The Blue Jays altered their starting lineup slightly for the game, giving the little-used John McDonald his first start of the season at second base in place of Aaron Hill.

Hill fouled a ball off his left shin during Wednesday's game against New York, which left a nice welt and provided Gaston the opening to utilize McDonald.

Hill, who has played in every game this season for Toronto, took a turn as the team's designated hitter last night, an indication that his injury is not that severe.

McDonald has had his playing time dry up as a result of the fine play of Scutaro, who has taken over as the Jays' regular shortstop.

Solid defensively, Scutaro is much more dangerous than McDonald at the plate and is the major-league leader among leadoff hitters after 36 games with a .402 on-base percentage (minimum 100 at-bats).

Despite McDonald's continued sunny disposition that he's willing to accept any role, Hill knows that the lack of playing time has been difficult on his teammate.

"I know it's killing him inside," Hill said. "He's an athlete, he wants to play."

McDonald didn't do himself any favours when he went to the plate in the Toronto seventh in a tie game with runners at first and third and one out - and promptly struck out.

Hill then left the bases loaded when he hit into a fielder's choice.

Tallet pitched into the seventh inning with a 2-1 margin, courtesy of an Alex Rios home run in the fourth (No. 4 on the year) and a run-scoring double by Rod Barajas in the fifth.

*****

ON DECK

NOTES Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston wasn't too impressed with Melky Cabrera of the New York Yankees when he took a couple of steps up in the batter's box as Scott Richmond's pitch was on its way during the second inning of Wednesday's game. Cabrera slugged a leadoff double that ignited a five-run New York outburst. In the old days, Gaston remarked, a batter who breached Baseball etiquette like that would not be looked upon too favourably next time up. ... After missing the first two games of the series with a sore right oblique muscle, Derek Jeter started at shortstop for the Yankees last night. ... Left-handers have not posed much of a problem for Toronto. The Jays went into the game tied for first with the Yankees with a .320 batting average verses lefties.

NEXT Tonight, against the Chicago White Sox, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, 7:07 EDT.

Probable pitchers Jays LHP Brett Cecil (1-0, 0.64) v. Yankees LHP John Danks (2-2, 3.41).

TV Rogers Preview

Robert MacLeod


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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