ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The Toronto Blue Jays (39-39) put an end to the miserable home stand with a 5-0 shutout win over the Cardinals (41-38) on Sunday at Busch Stadium. Like three other times this week, the Cardinals were put into a deep hole that they were not able to overcome, and this time it was a 4-run sixth inning that included 4 singles, a fielder’s choice, an error, and an intentional walk.
Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero (7-7, 2.74) was fantastic for his club all afternoon as the left-hander quickly worked a 4-hit shutout, his first this season and second in his career, in less than two and a half hours with 106 pitches. In the third season of his career, Romero also obtained his first hit and RBI’s as helped the Blue Jays extend their lead in the 4-run sixth. Romero was very pleased with the start, but also excited he could contribute at the plate:
The Cardinals were not able to reach safely against Romero until the fourth when Skip Schumaker blooped a single. In fact, the only time the Cardinals had more than a single runner on base was when the Blue Jays elected to intentionally walk Daniel Descalso to face pitcher Kyle McClellan instead. This situation should not have even occurred because Toronto outfielders Corey Patterson and Juan Rivera let a deep flyball from Andrew Brown drop between them. Getting Brown to third was as close as the Redbirds would get to scoring on a muggy Sunday afternoon.
Daniel Descalso commented on what made Romero so good on Sunday:
One odd play that was questioned following the game was Colby Rasmus’ sacrifice bunt following Brown’s lucky double. Down 1-0 at the time as the sixth hitter with no outs, manager Tony LaRussa explained the move:
Kyle McClellan (6-4, 4.02) was fighting out of jams for the most part in his 5.1 innings of work. He brilliantly worked his way out trouble in the first after the first two reached, but was finally tagged for a run in the top of the second when J.P. Arencibia hit his 11th home run to give his club an early 1-0 lead.
The Blue Jays went in order just once against McClellan in the third inning. They finally broke through in the sixth with a 4-run outpouring. After two singles, Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman would charge a weak groundball off the bat of Corey Patterson and sail a throw over catcher Tony Cruz about 15-20 feet away from home plate.
After the fielder’s choice and throwing error, Toronto would chase McClellan for 2 more tallies and end his start. The most despairing blow had to be pitcher Ricky Romero’s 2-run single that occurred after the Cardinals intentionally loaded the bases. For Romero, it was his first career hit and RBI’s in his fifteenth Major League at-bat.
McClellan talked about final RBI hits after intentionally walking Arencibia:
Luckily, reliever Mitchell Boggs stopped the bleeding and killed the rally with back-to-back strike outs. Boggs, Jason Motte, and Raul Valdes, who made his Cardinals debut, kept the Blue Jays at bay for the final 4.2 innings. However, down 5-0, the Cardinals’ offense responded by going 2-12 with 2 singles, a walk, and a hit by pitch.
NOTES … Cardinals 2011 first round pick Kolten Wong took batting practice and fielded balls before the game on Sunday … St. Louis finishes the nine-game 3-6 dating back to June 17 … The broadcast on Tuesday for the Charter Communications Pregame Show on KMOX 1120 AT 5:10pm.
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