Blue Jays Happ(y) To Oblige With Win


March 16, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (48) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsComing off of a disappointing loss against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, their third in four games to start the season, the Toronto Blue Jays were looking for a performance to help spark them back into the win column.

They received three of them.

Starter J.A. Happ, making his first start of the season, stymied the Red Sox for 5.1 innings, allowing just a single hit and a trio of walks, while striking out 6 in the contest. This coming off a night where the Red Sox tallied 12 hits and 6 runs against Josh Johnson and three relievers.

Happ used a strong spring training as a springboard, one where he unseated fellow lefty Ricky Romero as the team’s fifth starter, attacking the Red Sox with confidence. A fastball/change-up combination kept the Boston offense off balance throughout the game.

The trio of Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup, and Sergio Santos held Boston to a single hit and struck out 5 over the final 4.2 innings to secure the win.

The Blue Jays offense continued its home run barrage, launching another pair on Saturday. The Blue Jays are now tied with the Cincinnati Reds with 11 home runs on the season.

J.P. Arencibia got things rolling with his third home run of the season, a two-run shot in the 4th inning off of Boston starter John Lackey. Arencibia also added his third double of the season in the 8th innings off of Alfredo Aceves. Arencibia now has seven hits on the year, with six of those going for extra bases.

The 27-year-old Toronto backstop also redeemed himself for a throwing error by catching Shane Victorino stealing, Arencibia’s second runner caught stealing of the season.

Adding to the offense was Colby Rasmus, who launched his second home run of the season in the sixth inning, plating three against Aceves. Rasmus also struck out twice in the game, raising his season total to 8.

Jose Reyes added a pair of hits in the game and stole his second base of the season, putting him one ahead of Adam Lind, who also nabbed a base in the contest.

While Toronto’s offense has come alive during the past three games, it is worth noting that after going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position on Saturday, the team has gone just 3 for 30 with runners in scoring position on the season.

The Blue Jays will wrap up the series with Boston on Sunday at 1:07pm. R.A. Dickey will take the mound for the Blue Jays, while Jon Lester will toe the rubber for the opposition. Lester has a career mark of 11-7 with a 3.86 ERA and a 8.2 K/9 ratio against Toronto over the course of 22 starts, but went just 1-3 with a 7.27 ERA against the Blue Jays in 2012.