ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Jose Bautista muscled his 23rd home run just past the outstretched glove of Jon Jay in the top of the ninth to break a four-game losing streak and give the Toronto Blue Jays (37-39) a 5-4 win over the Cardinals (41-36) on Friday night at Busch Stadium. Following a power delay in the ninth, Bautista got enough of a high-flying drive off of Fernando Salas that founds its way over the right field wall.
After earning his first save on April 28, Salas went 19 straight appearance without allowing a home run, but has now surrendered 3 in his past 5 appearances. In the month of the June, the young Cardinals’ closer has 2 saves, 2 blown saves, a 2-2 record, 6.18 ERA, 7 earned runs, and 3 home runs.
Jake Westbrook (6-4, 5.32) did not have a good start on Friday night lasting just 4.1 innings after Cardinals’ starting pitching went a combined 22.0 innings during the week against Philadelphia. Westbrook gave up 4 runs on 10 hits and an intentional walk.
Westbrook’s defense perhaps failed him in the first inning when Ryan Theriot could not complete a double play. Following the fielder’s choice, Toronto got 2 runs on 3 hits.
Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow (3-4, 5.02) was impressive at times, yet key mistakes not only kept the Cardinals in the game, but wiped away two of his club’s leads on Friday night. Though he struck out 9, Morrow allowed 4 runs and 2 home runs.
The biggest blow came in the sixth when Jon Jay led off with a double and Matt Holliday lasered a shot that barely snuck over the left field wall into the Blue Jays’ bullpen. Before the inning, Morrow had retired 7 straight, 5 by strike out.
Mitchell Boggs did a great job as he replaced Westbrook in the top of the fifth with one out and the bases loaded. The former closer candidate killed the Toronto rally with back-to-back strike outs against Edwin Encarnacion and Rajai Davis.
Lance Lynn was impressive as he ate 3.0 innings from the sixth to the eighth inning allowing no runs and just 2 baserunners. Friday was Lynn’s first appearance since being called up earlier this week.
Colby Rasmus hit his sixth home run in the second inning to make the score 2-1 after Morrow retired the first 4 Cardinals’ batters. It was Rasmus’ first home run since June 2.
Lance Berkman had an off night going 0-4 with 3 strike outs. It is the first time Berkman has had three in one game since July 21, 2010.
After eight complete innings while the Cardinals and Fernando Salas were warming up for the top of the ninth, the same bank of lights that went out in the San Francisco series on May 30 went dark once again. The delay lasted 13 minutes.
The Cardinals have not won the opening of a series since their visit to Houston on June 7.
Jason Frasor earned the win with a flawless eighth inning for the Blue Jays, and Frank Francisco picked up his 8th save.
NOTES … Friday was the first game at Busch Stadium III for the Toronto Blue Jays; 2003 was the last time Toronto visited St. Louis … Lance Berkman hit his 300th home run from the left side of the plate on Thursday night … David Freese took his first night off during his rehab assignment; in the 3 games, Freese is 3-9 … The broadcast on Saturday for the Charter Communications Pregame Show on KMOX 1120 AM start at 5:20pm.
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