Bullpen holds down fort in comeback victory
Closer Cecil puts finishing touches on wild win with first save since May 4
BOSTON -- For the first time in more than a month, the Blue Jays can look at the box score and find someone on their team who earned a save.
Toronto went through a stretch of 18 wins without a save before left-hander Brett Cecil put the finishing touches on Friday night's 13-10 victory over Boston.
That was the first save for Cecil -- and the Blue Jays -- since May 4. The only team that went through a longer stretch over the last 35 years was the Red Sox, who won 20 games without a save in 1987.
"I'm still out of breath, I had to work for that one," Cecil said with a laugh after his team rallied from seven runs down.
Cecil might have been laughing when he said that, but he wasn't joking. Earlier in the game, there didn't seem to be any chance that he would be used with Toronto trailing, 8-1, after three innings.
That changed in a dramatic way during the seventh when the Blue Jays had nine consecutive batters reach base and come around to score. Toronto took a 13-8 lead, but even then, the club wasn't out of harm's way.
Boston scored once in the eighth off Roberto Osuna and had the tying run in the on-deck circle when Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called upon his closer with two outs. Cecil promptly walked David Ortiz on four pitches, but then struck out Mike Napoli to end the threat.
Cecil returned for the ninth and allowed another run before closing it out. He needed 30 pitches to secure Toronto's ninth straight win and none of them came easy, but his third save of the year was a long time coming and he was just relieved to get it out of the way.
"Here and Yankee Stadium is the toughest," Cecil said. "I don't know. I think it's just the atmosphere that you come into. Here and Yankee Stadium, there's a lot of history with both teams, a lot of history with winning with both teams. I would venture to say the last three to six outs are probably the toughest in the game at this park and Yankee Stadium."
Toronto's bullpen was really the unsung hero of the dramatic victory. Right-handed starter Drew Hutchison allowed eight runs over 2 1/3 innings before he was chased, but Bo Schultz, Steve Delabar and Aaron Loup picked him up with 4 2/3 scoreless innings before giving way to Osuna and Cecil.
"They all did a great job," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It got a little hairy at the end, but games always do here for some reason. Proud of the guys, that's pretty impressive."