It's a throw down, a show down, hell no I can't slow down, it's gonna go...DOWN!
In advance of the "Throwdown in Beantown", the Jays of Blue completed a four game sweep of the Sox of White with a 3-2 victory Monday afternoon at the Thunder Dome.
In the battle of "Riches", "Mond" outdueled "Ard" on the mound as Scott Richmond faced Pale Hose lefty Clayton Richard. Richmond set the tone early with three groundball outs in the first and worked around a leadoff walk to Jim Thome in the second. The Jays had a chance to get to Richard in the first when Marco Scutaro walked and Aaron Hill reached on an infield single to short. However, Alex Rios hit into a double play and then with runners on the corners, Adam Lind hit into a fielder's choice on a sharp grounder to short. However, the Jays did get on the board in the second courtesy of Kevin Millar's second homer of the season which cleared the fence in left-center.
That 1-0 lead held up in the top of the third thanks to a fine play at third by Scott Rolen. He snared a Josh Fields smash down the third base line and threw out his third base counterpart. That turned out to be huge when Scott Podsednik followed up with a two-out triple. However, Richmond made sure Podsednik wouldn't run the last 90 feet as he struck out Jayson Nix to end the inning. Podsednik would play a big role in the Jays second run in the home half of the third as he made a three-base error in center field to allow Scutaro to get to third. "Scooter" would come home on a Hill sac fly.
Richmond gave up just one hit over the next two innings and stranded Nix in the sixth after he stole second and third by striking out Thome. The Sox would threaten again in the seventh by getting runners on the corners with two outs but Richmond got Fields to ground out to end the inning and his afternoon on the hill.
However, Richmond's bid for his fifth win of the season was flushed down the crapper when Jesse Carlson couldn't get the job done in the eighth. He set down the first two hitters in order but Jermaine Dye singled and that was followed by a two-run dinger from Thome to tie the game at 2-2. Someone should've given a Thome a ride as he took forever and a lifetime rounding the bases.
The Jays bats, save for a Millar single and Scutaro walk, were held in check by Richard since the fourth. RIchard, who was now off the hook for the loss, was replaced by Octavio Dotel to start the eighth. The veteran righty committed the cardinal sin of walking the leadoff man in Jose Bautista. He was pushed to second on a Scutaro bunt but Hill couldn't bring him home after he popped up to second. It was up to Rios, yesterday's bobblehead hero, and he made up for his groundball double play in the first by hitting a triple past the outstretched glove of Podsednik in centre to score Bautista after he stole third. Scott Downs finished up with a one-walk ninth to preserve the win for Carlson and collect his fifth save of the year.
Richmond finished with seven shutout frames by giving up just five hits and one walk while striking out seven and getting eight groundouts. The Jays were outhit 7 to 4 with Millar getting half of them with his homer and single. They also drew four walks.
Tonight, the Jays hope to "Tallet like it is" in Fenway Park as Brian Tallet faces knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in a 7:10 p.m. EDT start.
In other TDIB notes.......
* The Twins lose again to the Yankees but at least it wasn't a walk-off loss this time.
* Todd Helton's potential 2,000th hit is under review but Jason Kendall's isn't.
* Rickie Weeks is done for the season thanks to a wrist injury but Mat Gamel brings down the gavel to hit his first major league homer as the Brew Crew beat the Cards.
* The Rays are back at sea level as they pummel the A's.
* Carlos Delgado's season will be out for awhile thanks to a hip injury.