Beat the Yankees and you’ll earn a smile from every Blue Jays fan. Beat them up like they’re rich-brat Little Leaguers and you’ll start to get some serious attention from the rest of the league.
J.P. Arencibia delivered the big blow — a bases-loaded double — in a five-run sixth inning as the Jays smacked around the Bronx Bombers in a 7-3 win on Monday that’s sure to raise eyebrows in the States from fans wondering if this team might be more than The Jose Bautista Fireworks Show.
Arencibia finished 2-for-4, adding an RBI single in the eighth that gave him a fourth RBI on the night, and J-Bop belted his MLB-leading 19th dinger as the Jays improved to 9-3 in their past 12.
Emergency starter Carlos Villanueva (2-0, 1.53 ERA!) went five impressive innings, surrendering one run on two hits at the Death Star, aka Yankee Stadium. Villanueva came out of the bullpen in place of injured Jesse Litsch. Chances are he’ll get another look or three with a performance like this one. (Can you say, Now warming up in the bullpen, Jo-Jo Reyes?)
J-Bop’s homer off Bartolo Colon (2-3, 3.77 ERA) opened the scoring in the first. The Yanks tied it in the fourth and it remained 1-1 until the sixth, which began with a Corey Patterson double. J-Bop was intentionally walked and Yunel Escobar, batting clean-up, sacrificed the runners over. Juan Rivera was also intentionally walked, loading the bases for Aaron Hill, who did what he failed to do on Sunday against Houston: Deliver a big hit. He lashed a run-scoring single to left field, setting things up for Arencibia. The rookie catcher ripped the first pitch from Colon into right-centerfield for a three-RBI smack that gave the Jays a 6-1 lead.
And one sweet victory.
[Too bad no one at the Watermark Irish Pub down at Queens Quay could see it. The bar doesn’t get Sportsnet-1! And to think it was recently named among the best Irish bars in the city — we take that one back.]
TUESDAY: Game 2 of the three-game series sees a great pitching matchup as Ricky Romero (4-4, 3.10 ERA) takes on the Evil Empire’s C.C. Sabathia (4-3, 3.06 ERA), who is 9-3 in his last 12 decisions against the Jays. 7 p.m., Sportsnet-1.
2011 J.P. Arencibia Statistics