J.A. Happ does what Roy Halladay couldn’t do: beat Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay
BY:Jeff Schneberk @Game7overtime
No matter how much we think that the Blue Jays are down and out this season, they occasionally find ways to help the argument that they are not quite done yet.
In a season that has been so badly on and off, Saturday night was another example of things being ‘on’. They do this right and that right, and actually get rewarded for it.
J.A. Happ had a successful return to Florida after a scary injury. Happ won his first game at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field since getting pegged in the head with a ball. Toronto won tonight on Happ’s pitching, and posted a 6-2 win.
Toronto was edged on Friday night, 5-4 and have a chance to win the 3-game series tomorrow afternoon, with opening pitch scheduled for 1:40 pm.
Toronto still remains 15 games out of 1st place and any talk that the Jays could actually do it may/will lead to laughter, however the Yankees and the 2nd place Rays are separated by nine wins.
Toronto needs to put together one hell of a streak (again).
“It was great,” Happ said. “I was looking forward to it. Probably haven’t pitched the best here and I was looking forward to having the opportunity to come and try and change that up a little bit. Have a good game. Keep us in the game.”
“I thought Happ pitched really well,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “You’ve got to congratulate him, based on what happened to him previously, how difficult that may have been. A big part of our problem tonight was how well he pitched. I thought his stuff was really good, maybe as good as I’ve seen him.”
It was Happ’s first victory since beating Kansas City on April 12.
Happ retired nine in a row before Jason Bourgeois opened the fourth with a bunt single down the first base line. Happ fielded the bunt and landed hard on his right knee while shoveling the ball to first from his glove. The left-hander stayed in the game after making a couple of warmup throws.
“I kind of landed on the kneecap there, pushed it in,” Happ said. “I just needed a couple minutes to let it die down. It was fine after that.”
With a win Sunday, the Blue Jays will win a road series against Tampa Bay for the first time since April 2007. That information was written on a message board in the Toronto clubhouse.
“Roy Halladay couldn’t beat Tampa,” Lind said. “Obviously we know how hard it is to come in here and not just winning a series, but winning a game.”
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