Blue Jays 4 White Sox 2
TORONTO — Kyle Drabek came away with a no-decision Friday, but he was happy to help the Toronto Blue Jays get a much-needed win.
The right-hander tossed a season-high 121 pitches in going 6 2-3 innings but didn’t figure into the decision as Toronto beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 to snap a three-game skid.
“When situations come up and I get frustrated it’s getting a lot easier for me to be able to get back on the mound, forget about what happened and go after the hitter,” said Drabek, who allowed three hits, five walks and two runs while striking out four.
Although his record stayed at 3-3, Drabek lowered his earned-run average to 4.16.
Drabek struck out Alexei Ramirez for what should have been the third out of the seventh inning, but a wild pitch allowed the batter to reach first.
Casey Janssen (2-0) came in to end the inning and picked up the win when Yunel Escobar’s double snapped 2-2 tie in the bottom of the seventh.
Jon Rauch pitched the ninth to pick up his sixth save of the season even though Juan Pierre beat out an infield single and took second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball.
“We’ve been on the threshold of a couple of wins of late and yet have not finished them off,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
“So the fact tonight where we scored a couple of runs late, manufactured a couple of runs, caught a break on the basepaths and a win is a good thing here tonight. We needed this one tonight for sure.”
Drabek’s ability to limit the damage when he gets in a jam is a positive sign for a rookie, Farrell added.
“That’s something that you can’t teach,” he said, “That is the competiveness and the ability to fight through a difficult spot whether it’s self-created or otherwise.
“To me it’s the trademark of a winner. He’s got the ability to win and he’s got the tenacity to pitch through tight spots and avoiding a crooked number. The greatest teacher we have is what goes on between the lines at the big-league level.”
White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle (4-4) allowed nine hits, two walks and three runs while striking out three to take the loss. He has an earned-run average of 2.73 against the Blue Jays in 15 career outings.
Escobar’s run-scoring double in the bottom of the seventh came as a result of some sloppy Chicago defence. Centre-fielder Alex Rios and right-fielder Quentin bumped as they retrieved the ball, allowing Jayson Nix to score from first.
After Janssen finished off the seventh, he retired the first two batters in the eighth.
But Rios singled and Adam Dunn walked for the fourth time in the game. Shawn Camp replaced Janssen and ended the inning on a groundball by Omar Vizquel that forced Dunn at second.
The Blue Jays tacked on a run against Tony Pena in the eighth on singles by J.P. Arencibia, Rajai Davis and Jose Molina.
Toronto almost botched a double steal when Molina ran to second with his head down. Davis didn’t start to leave second until Molina was almost at the base, but the speedy outfielder made it safely to third. Pena worked out of the inning without another run.
“I saw Rajai go and I tried to follow it,” Molina said. “He stopped. I wasn’t expecting that. But because of his speed we both made it and it was a good play.”
Juan Rivera’s first-inning double scored Escobar to give Toronto (25-26) a 1-0 lead.
Ramirez tied the game 1-1 with a third-inning sacrifice fly — on a nice catch by left-fielder Corey Patterson — that followed Pierre’s one-out triple.
The Blue Jays regained the lead in the fourth on Aaron Hill’s single and Davis’ triple.
Molina failed to deliver Davis from third base on his grounder to first and after Nix walked, the Blue Jays tried a squeeze play. Escobar failed to put down the bunt and Davis was tagged out at home. Escobar grounded out to end the inning.
Drabek walked Quentin with the bases loaded in the fifth to allow Chicago (24-29) to tie game 2-2. Dunn led off the fifth with a walk, Vizquel singled, Dallas McPherson struck out, and Pierre singled to fill the bases. Drabek induced a shallow fly from Ramirez that kept Dunn at third.
Drabek then fell behind 3-0 on Quentin and fought back to 3-2 in the count before allowing the run-scoring walk. Drabek finished the inning on a grounder to short by Paul Konerko.
“You don’t want to give a free run and walk someone in,” Drabek said. “And I was unable to make the pitch at the right time. You know, after he scored (Arencibia) told me just to keep going and I calmed myself down and tried to go after the next batter.”