The Chicago White Sox went to Toronto over the weekend hoping to get some easy wins against the struggling Blue Jays, who had lost five straight prior to Friday night’s series opener. While the Sox did notch a couple of victories, the Jays played tough for a team in a severe slump.
Toronto let it be known they wouldn’t be going down without a fight in the first inning of the series, when Troy Glaus cranked a three-run homer off superlative Sox ace Jon Garland. Yet the South Siders responded with a rally that included a three-run dinger from A.J. Pierzynski in the fifth, and the team took Game 1 with a 6-4 final.
The Sox prevailed in the second game as well. Toronto was never really in this one, thanks to the abrupt reemergence of Javier Vasquez as a force in the Sox’ pitching staff. Javy stuck out 13 batters in eight innings, while Chicago hitters piled up runs in a 7-1 romp—which, astoundingly, did not involve any homers.
In Game 3, A.J. had a surprisingly good performance. Unfortunately for the Sox, it was the wrong A.J.
Jays pitcher A.J. Burnett, who boasts a rather unremarkable 3-5 records and 4.81 ERA this season, held the Sox to three runs in six innings. Meanwhile, the Jays got four runs against suddenly ice-cold Sox pitcher Jose Contreras, who gave up three hits and walked two in the fourth. Toronto won the series finale 7-3 and broke their seven-game losing streak, their longest in four years.
Surprisingly, the Jays are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. They’re only 9.5 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees, and eight games back of the Sox, who are currently atop the Wild Card standings. In an effort to keep the team competitive, manager John Gibbons will start Roy Halladay in every game between now and the end of September.
“We need Roy to step up to keep us in the thick of it,” Gibbons said. “He’s only got 13 wins so far, but he makes $12.75 million a year. That’s like a mil per win. He’s gotta get a lot more victories if he’s really going to earn that kind of money.”
Number of the Weekend: 30
Wins for Garland since the beginning of 2005, the most in the majors.