for this game

Burnett helps Blue Jays snap skid

May 12, 2007 - 6:45 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Blue Jays lost their ace on Friday, but A.J. Burnett looks like he's ready to take his place.

Burnett tossed 6 2/3 strong innings to help the Blue Jays snap their nine-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Jason Phillips doubled home a pair of runs and four players had multi-hit nights for Toronto, which lost third baseman Troy Glaus in the first inning to a left leg injury.

"It's a bittersweet day with (Halladay) going down and that happening to Troy again," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "I'm proud of our guys. It's a relief (to end the losing streak). It felt like we won the World Series."

Burnett (3-3), who had lost his last two starts, struck out 10 while allowing just one run and five hits. The veteran righthander, who signed a five-year, $55 million free agent contract with the club prior to last season, will have the weight of the entire staff on his shoulders after ace Roy Halladay was placed on the disabled list on Friday.

"I'm going to have to step it up a little bit," Burnett said. "Not having (Halladay) out there - we're going to miss that. I got real emotional in the game and I didn't want (Tampa Bay) to score. My curveball was really good and once I settled down and got in the rhythm I just kept attacking."

Burnett immediately steps into the senior role on a staff that has now lost Halladay for four to six weeks with appendicitis, Gustavo Chacin to a strained left shoulder and Victor Zambrano to a strained right forearm. All-Star closer B.J. Ryan also was lost for the season on Thursday due to Tommy John elbow surgery.

"It's almost comedy actually, people are dropping like flies around here," Toronto's Vernon Wells said. "Hopefully it's over with. Obviously you feel bad for Doc (Halladay). This is pretty amazing what's going on around here. Hopefully the injury bug will stop biting people. It's just one of those years unfortunately."

Casey Janssen and Jeremy Accardo, each of whom likely will get the save opportunities in Ryan's absence, combined to throw 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Toronto's hitters got to Scott Kazmir (2-2) in the fourth inning. After Kazmir struck out the first two batters of the frame, Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay hit consecutive singles. Phillips plated both runners with a double to deep center.

"I didn't get the job done my previous at-bat," said Phillips, who struck out with runners on first and second in the second inning. "I started to get the feel for that slider down and in. Luckily (Kazmir) threw one in the zone and I was able to put a good swing on it."

The Blue Jays added an unearned in the sixth before finally chasing Kazmir in the seventh. Alex Rios hit a solo blast with one out and Wells followed with a double.

"We haven't been getting many breaks of late, but we came through in key situations," Wells said. "Unfortunately it was a strange feeling going into the ninth inning with a lead. It was good to hear people standing up and clapping - I haven't heard that in a while."

Shawn Camp replaced Kazmir and surrendered an RBI single to Jason Smith before working out of the inning.

Kazmir allowed five runs - four earned - and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. The five runs he yielded is his most in any outing since an opening day start at Yankee Stadium.

"I felt like I had (control)," Kazmir said. "It just wasn't a good outing. That's baseball."

"His pitch count was high," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "I wanted to give him a chance to get a win but A.J. was just exceptional."

Glaus, who missed 14 games earlier this season with a left heel injury, came up limping while running out a fly ball in the bottom of the first.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
    TORONTO 0 0 0 2 0 1 2 0 x 5 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, SHAWN CAMP (7TH), GARY GLOVER (8TH) AND JOSH
    PAUL
    TOR - A.J. BURNETT, CASEY JANSSEN (7TH), JEREMY ACCARDO
    (9TH) AND JASON PHILLIPS

    HOME RUNS:

    May 11 10:02 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON SMITH SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J SMITH ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.234, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysMay 11 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (7) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF SCOTT KAZMIR.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, TORONTO 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.282, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysMay 11 9:19 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY CARLOS PENA ALLOWED AARON HILL TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LIND ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J MCDONALD (.295, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysMay 11 9:03 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JASON PHILLIPS SCORED AARON HILL AND LYLE
    OVERBAY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J PHILLIPS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A LIND (.239, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysMay 11 8:22 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 1 0
    TORONTO 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR
    TOR - A.J. BURNETT

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.283, 6 HR, 20 RBI)
    V WELLS (.279, 4 HR, 17 RBI)
    T GLAUS (.317, 6 HR, 14 RBI)

    Rays vs. Blue JaysMay 11 7:20 PM