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Bautista's HR in ninth boosts Blue Jays over Cardinals

Jun 25, 2011 - 7:11 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista hit a go- ahead homer in the ninth inning, lifting Toronto to a 5-4 victory over St. Louis in the opener of a three-game series.

With one out, Fernando Salas (4-2) threw an 0-1 fastball on the outside edge of the plate and up, and Bautista put a swing on it. The ball sailed just over the right field fence, an opposite field shot and his major league-leading 23rd home run of the year.

Bautista said he watched video of Salas and was expecting the pitch.

"He likes his fastball, he throws it away most of the time," Bautista said. "I was looking for it. It was a ball, but I ended up hitting it good. So, I'll take it."

Frank Francisco worked a 1-2-3 bottom half to secure the victory, which ended Toronto's four-game slide.

Aaron Hill and Adam Lind drove in two runs apiece for the Blue Jays, while Jason Frasor (2-1) picked up the victory for throwing a scoreless eighth.

Matt Holliday hit a game-tying two-run blast in the sixth inning for St. Louis, which fell to 3-4 on its nine-game homestand.

Holliday's homer got Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook off the hook. The right- hander gave up four runs on 10 hits and one walk in 4 1/3 innings, including two runs in the first.

A Bautista double put runners in scoring position before Lind grounded out to plate a run. Hill then lined a single to center to make it a 2-0 game.

"Today I was just all over the place from the get-go," Westbrook said. "Not controlling counts, and making mistakes that put our bullpen in a bind."

But the Cardinals got to Toronto starter Brandon Morrow in the second, when Colby Rasmus homered. Morrow threw a first-pitch splitter low but over the plate, and Rasmus jumped on it, golfing it over the right field fence.

Daniel Descalso led off the bottom of the third with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, then advanced to third on a passed ball. He tagged up on Jon Jay's fly ball to center, evening the game.

Eric Thames got a Toronto rally started in the fifth with a one-out double. After Westbrook intentionally walked Bautista, Lind and Hill hit consecutive run-scoring singles to put the Blue Jays up 4-2.

But the Cardinals got those runs back in the sixth. After Jay led off with a double, Holliday slugged a home run to left field. The breaking ball was low and Holliday's timing appeared to be slightly off, but he still managed to send it over the fence.

Game Notes

Morrow allowed four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and a walk in seven innings, and struck out nine...Lance Lynn threw three shutout relief innings for St. Louis...Blue Jays manager John Farrell indicated Friday that infielding prospect Brett Lawrie likely won't be able to play until late summer as he comes back from a broken hand...Francisco recorded his eighth save.